When we look at the picture boards in the hallways, we are reaching back twenty, thirty, maybe forty years. In one way, that seems long ago: the photos are grainy, or Polaroids, or black and white.
There aren't very many of them either. We memorialized big events with posed and formal pictures in the not so distant past: church directories or a black and white spread in the Avalanche, not just a tap and a click on our universal and ubiquitous electronic devices. Our hair is funny in these pictures:it is big, or it exists. There are big glasses, mustaches where there are none these days, and embarrassing styles on men and women alike.
It is good to slow down and step back. We aren't the same, but why should we be? We are not called to stand pat, to bury our 'talent' in the ground for safe keeping. We ebb and flow with the passing of years, the population of our community, the talents of our members. We can get discouraged; we can be uplifted. We falter and we fail, but because we believe, we open another door.
And because we are family, we do it together. As families do, we fuss, we disagree, we go away mad, but we also forgive and forget our differences. We comfort, we rejoice, we lean on each other from cradle to grave, from generation to generation.
We are celebrating our past, using our past as a vessel of thanksgiving for today's blessings and a prayer for such mercies to be granted in the future for this body of believers, this changing tapestry of people in the pews. This season begins the time of harvest. It is the perfect time to gather, give thanks, share memories, eat ( because this church does that so well!) and rejoice in a living, changing, and sustaining community of God's people.