• on September 5, 2019

Welcome Home

This Sunday is Homecoming Sunday. Our Jazz Sunday will welcome Katherine and Kompanie, the jazz trio of Katherine Hedlund at the Bosendorfer piano, Nick Trautman on bass, and Willie Bruno on drums. A picnic will then spread out upon our lawn with fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. We hope you plan to be with us as new energy surges again here on Brookside Rd.

Homecoming Sunday isn’t holy on the church calendar like Easter or Christmas are. But the Old Testament’s most compelling story is Israel’s search for home, where God meant them to dwell, having liberated them from slavery. If you found you missed something indescribable over the summer, if something was not quite right, maybe you missed your spiritual home, FCC, Darien.

“Home is where, when you go there, they have to take you in,” observed Mark Twain. First Congregational Church is our spiritual home, our shelter, our joy, our spiritual balm, our soulful and spiritual ground zero. When bad things happen, we feel its gravitational pull. When glad and good things come to fruition, it is often on our premises and with this gathered community.

Having built dozens of homes with poor campesinos throughout Latin America, I have gained a sense of what having a home means. Nothing frees us up more than having a home for body and soul. Most obviously, it is grounding for our identity, such a freedom from rootlessness and wandering. Most profoundly, the church frees us to do here what doesn’t and cannot happen elsewhere-strive together to be people of character and learn how our faith narrates our lives.

So much of this seems invisible, like it will just happen on its own. It doesn’t. These precious and irreplaceable spiritual benefits form the foundation of what it means for the better angels of our nature to rise up and subdue our less charitable instincts. If the shaping of our character and formation of faith in God seem to involve no more than breathing the air or drinking the water, what that means is that we are taking for granted the spiritual dimensions of being alive.

On Homecoming Sunday none of us take any of this for granted. We bond with each other and God. Our time away during the summer makes us as thirsty and hungry for spiritual sustenance. We recall that we are above all spiritual beings, even more than fleshly creatures. It reminds me of the song written by Buddy Guy, sung with Van Morrison and dedicated to the great B.B. King:

“This life is more than
Flesh and bone
Turn back now before you’re gone
When you go your spirit lives on
This life is more than
Flesh and bone.”

You’re all invited. Do bring friends and neighbors. One service only at ten am! See you Sunday!

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