Today is an interesting day for me, maybe and hopefully for you as well. A friend of mine is turning 61 today, happy birthday Loyed! I met him when he was a mere 20 years old, oh how time flies. It got me to thinking about all of us, and what we are doing here in this world. What do our lives mean, what do they accomplish, what do we leave behind us when we go that will make a difference?

I’m thinking about the congregation at Preston Hollow and how significantly diverse we all are. We have a lot of young people, which for a small church can seem a bit unusual. We have a number of different ethnic groups represented, that too is not the norm. We also have some truly remarkable senior saints who bless us with their wisdom and love. This too is a bit unusual.

The reason I point out the “unusual-ness” in the makeup of the congregation stems from our style of worship, and the breadth of persons we seem to reach. We have morphed into a fairly contemporary worship style. With that comes a significant uptick in the volume of the music, as well as a broader mix of styles. We have persons who feel very comfortable experiencing and participating in worship in whatever way is comfortable for them; they may shed a tear, they may appear stoic, they may be lively with raising of hands or shouting out through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We really are a fairly eclectic group.

I was raised in the 1960’s, you’ll remember some refer to that as the “hippie” era. That was certainly an interesting time to grow up. When I look at how it was then, and how I view the congregation now, I see some real similarities. In the 60’s, people were trying to find themselves, trying new expressions of all sorts of religious and ideological beliefs. There was a prevailing belief those of that era were going to change the world. It was going to become less war-like, more loving, kinder, gentler, more focused on the belief we were all an equal part of humanity. The congregation has a similar tinge to who we are, who we are hoping to become, and how we would like to impact the world.

The hubris of the young, I suppose. The world hasn’t really gotten less violent, less selfish, less self-centered, more loving, more kind, more gentle since the 1960’s.

A song you may remember from Cat Stephens, Oh Very Young, has been playing over and over in my mind today. It speaks to the tenuous nature of our lives, and what we do with them. I just happen to believe the mix of young and old, black, white, brown, yellow, and red, straight, gay, trans and questioning, are going to make a difference in our corner of the world. We might just be a bunch of “hippies” who are on a path somewhere that is different and wonderful and filled with a hope that will never die.

Let me leave you with the lyrics of Cat Stevens, aka Yusuf Islam’s, song…

“Oh very young, what will you leave us this time

You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while

And though your dreams may toss and turn you now

They will vanish away like your dads best jeans

Denim blue, faded up to the sky

And though you want them to last forever

You know they never will

You know they never will

And the patches make the goodbye harder still

Oh very young what will you leave us this time

There’ll never be a better chance to change your mind

And if you want this world to see a better day

Will you carry the words of love with you

Will you, will you ride the great white bird into heaven

And though you want to last forever

You know you never will

You know you never will

And the goodbye makes the journey harder still

Will you carry the words of love with you

Will you ride, oh, ooh

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time

You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time.”

Your companion on the Way,

Pastor Tom

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