Not being a native New Englander, one thing I very quickly noticed as a newcomer from the Midwest was that the roads around the area are very curvy! Even a drive to the grocery store, a mere 1.4 miles away, includes several bends. I’m amazed at home many times my hands must cross my body turning the steering wheel as I make this short (and frequent) trek.
Of course, there’s great fun in all this, especially with children in the back seats of our vehicles. They especially enjoy the frequent turns. But of course that all has changed over time, particularly as I have had to become a driving instructor and find myself in the passenger seat. I have had to teach that it’s important to slow down in anticipation of these bends in the road, because it’s much harder to slow down in the midst of them.
You know what? The New England roads are not the only pathways with a lot of twists and turns. The same is true on the journey of life, which is punctuated through time by many different seasons. One season that is common to us all is the big bend in the road that takes place following Labor Day weekend. While the reality of “back to school” directly affects students, teachers, and administrators, it has ripple effects all across the people of the fruited plain. One social commentator I heard on the radio recently remarked that this season is America’s real New Year. So many things change very quickly after Labor Day.
At Pilgrim Covenant Church, we mark this curve with our own special Sunday, which we call, “Homecoming Sunday.” I don’t know how long that tradition has been going at PCC, but there’s another tradition that’s been going a long time. The Jewish people (including Jesus) have celebrated three significant Holy Days, or Feasts, in the fall. In order, they are Rosh Hashanah (the New Year), Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), and the Feast of Tabernacles, which includes a celebration of the harvest. Spiritually speaking, these highlight three major themes: Repentance, Judgment, and Thanksgiving.
The next three Sundays at PCC, we’re going to get very practical. We recognize that this is a big time of transitions for many of us, and our schedules fill up quickly with demands and opportunities, and we find ourselves speeding into all the curves ahead. And that often takes a toll on time, our energy – and our relationship with God.
That’s why I’d like for us to slow down as we head into this curve. To do so, we’re going deep into our historic spiritual roots as Christians into what would have been the practice of the faith of Jesus and the early Christians. We will engage with the spiritual significance of these Holy Days. I’m inviting you to join us the next three Sundays as we slow down and embrace all God is for us through our Lord Jesus.
Your Partner in the Gospel,
Seeking Jesus, Serving Others