Last month, on our drive across the country, Rachel, Jordan Elizabeth and I spent a day at the Grand Canyon. There’s a lot I could say about it – majestic, colorful, yawning, winding and (from certain angles) apparently bottomless; but such efforts at description wouldn’t tell the many of you who have already been there anything you don’t already know. Even if I couldsay something about such breath-taking natural splendor that others of you haven’t already thought or said, the truth is that the experience defies description.

You have to see it for yourself!

One thing I will say, however – and I hope it doesn’t sound trite – is that the Grand Canyon was even bigger than I had imagined.
And, whether that says more about the poverty of my imagination or the immensity of the canyon, I think it’s worth my sharing and your considering. After all, how many hugely wonderful things or occurrences in your life seemed, in anticipation or before you actually experienced them, to be no big deal? Moreover – and it’s true, isn’t it? – the actual grandeur of much that we cherish becomes clear only after considerable reflection.

So…Think of church as “like” the Grand Canyon. For some, it’s been a long time since you’ve actually seen it. For others, it’s not something you can remember, only something you hope to see. It may seem, as you anticipate joining us sometime in the coming month, to be no big deal really – just a familiar duty or responsibility; the comfortable return to a comfortable seat in the pew; the resumption of a comfortable conversation in the context of a comfortable relationship. Even so, there’s something about the whole thing that stubbornly defies description (you have to experience it for yourself to know!). There’s a Spirit that’s active in the midst of our gathering that’s older, deeper and broader than once suspected. And the difference it can make in each/all of our lives is far bigger than has been imagined.