Written for Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, for my last Sunday with a black robe
Come on, Family of God. Lace up your shoes and link arms. Whether this blessing finds you curious or complacent, stubborn or sick, melancholy or melodramatic, wounded or weary. Rise as one on your feet: forgiveness has changed the landscape.
The impossible journey has become possible.
Let this collective assurance sink deep enough so that our bodies know this to be true: this very breath is enough taste of the Kin-dom come as we need to get going. Let’s be in on the secret and breathe together.
In the quiet, hear it: the roar of the saints who have gone before us, reverberating on the stone walls. The intensity of their voices need not frighten us. They are cheering us on, fully invested in our every twist and turn.
Now that we know each step to be a gift; now that we know ourselves to be surrounded, we rise eagerly for all that God has in store for us – the places that will come to define us, the people who will amaze us, the obstacles that will call forth courage not our own, the dreams outrageous enough to fit the promises we carry.
Side by side, let’s take it slow, remembering that it’s hard to witness The One Whom We Hallow when we sprint through our days.
Patiently and expectantly, Go boldly as God’s people on the move. Sing hymns in full voice. Ask good questions. Pause regularly to lean in and say, “Tell me more.” Develop the daily practice of accepting forgiveness as you offer it to others.
When you feel alone, remind each other: No matter the road, we walk it together.
Blessed be the Journey forgiveness makes possible.
Blessed be the Holy Companions with whom we watch for the morning.
Blessed be the Cloud of Witnesses who sound the trumpet, telling us it’s time to rise.
Blessed assurance all along the way.