This summer of 2016 has been a whirlwind of adventure for Julie and me. From a Joyful Noise bell tour to WAM kids at the beach to giving guitar lessons in Nazareth, Israel to making a change in careers here at Lexington Baptist! Packing up (and throwing out some!) 40+ years of Music Ministry books, college music books, resources, CD’s, VHS tapes of past performances, cassettes of solo tracks, and a lot of memorabilia has been a slow process for me. I feel like I’m moving out, but then I keep reminding myself that I am really not going anywhere! So, it’s definitely not like saying goodbye to anybody, just goodbye to “the neighborhood” and what many of us cherish together as memories of worshipping God through great songs that have touched our souls. 28 years of cantatas and dramas and creative Passion Play productions that have allowed us to tell God’s wonderful Redemption Story of Christ’s great love for us are strong ties of love that bind us together. It has been an awesome journey!
The following scripture passage has no doubt been the perfect expression repeated by many, many Disciples of Christ throughout the ages who have come to that inevitable time of closure or separation from those who have been entrusted to their care or tutelage:
Philippians 1:3-11Tree of Life Version (TLV)
3 I thank my God at every memory of you, 4 always praying with joy in every prayer of mine for you all, 5 because of your sharing in the Good News from the first day until now. 6 I am sure of this very thing—that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Messiah Yeshua. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart—for you all are partakers of grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Messiah Yeshua.
7-8 It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!
9-11 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.