Pastor’s Corner (2/7/19)
Then David took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine Goliath. – I Samuel 17:40
Last Saturday, Feb. 2nd, 20 leaders from FCC gathered in the conference room at Lutheran Family Services for the annual Leadership Retreat. It proved to be a wonderful and energizing time to look at our lives here at FCC and ponder the path forward. It was exciting to have so many in attendance, both leaders and staff. King David was our guide for the day. On the last Sunday in June last year, our scripture lesson told the story of David’s encounter with the Philistine Goliath. It’s a familiar story and we know that David killed the enemy of ancient Israel with a stone shot from a sling. The passage above tells us that in preparation for this battle, David chose five smooth stones. The beauty of this story is that David came as he was, equipped with a weapon that fit for him. As a shepherd he probably used his sling-shot and stones to fight off the predators that tried to harm his sheep. His story invites us to come as we are, equipped with the gifts that we already have. So, last year I suggested that we come with five smooth stones as well. During our retreat I suggested that we ponder these five smooth stones once again which are: joy, love, hospitality, compassion and hope.
As we move into this year of celebration, in which we are invited to look back and ponder what comes next, I invite all of us to ponder where we have experienced joy, love, hospitality, compassion and love. With this in our hearts and minds, I invite us to then consider where can we foster joy, love, hospitality, compassion and hope in our own lives, here at FCC, and in our neighborhood and community. Debby Ortega created beautiful stones with each of these words on them and I invited everyone at the retreat to take the word that resonated with them the most. Interestingly enough, all of the stones with the word “hope” were taken. As we move into our 150th year may we be filled with joy, love, hospitality, compassion and, especially, hope. I think we were all energized by our time together on Saturday and hopefully that excitement and energy will flow out into the entire congregation. All five stones have been an important part of our legacy here at FCC and they will guide us into an exciting future. Just as God took David as he was and empowered him to do great things, God takes us as we are, equipped with five smooth stones which will propel us into a wondrous future.
With joy, love, compassion, hospitality and hope in my heart,