With that simple call and response, a former Rector of mine got the attention of our church family for almost a decade. It is ingrained in me. I can't hear someone say, God is good, without responding (at least in my head) "ALL THE TIME!"
But this post isn't about the use of a call and response to get attention. This post is about how good God is. I'm finally getting the chance, after several failed attempts, to worship with and "bring the word" to The River, a community of faith in Milton, FL (their new website is still a work in progress). This is reason enough to give thanks, but there's more.
Sam, the head honcho over at The Riv, is a super laid back, easy going, good guy. And so, when I asked him what the theme/topic/lections for this Sunday were, he responded, by text message, with "All u!"
Oh Crud! Umm, Sam, I'm an Episcopalian, I have no experience picking topics out of thin air.
So with the knowledge that they just finished a series on the fruits of the Spirit I headed to the Lectionary Page, clicked on August 30 and viola! The Collect for Sunday reads:
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit; one God for ever and ever. Amen.
And then I hit the lesson from James. SCORE!
As first fruits of God's creatures we are called to a lifestyle that is quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to anger. We are called to be doers of the word, not just hearers. We are called to bridle our tongues so as to have true religion. We are called to care for widows and orphans. We are called to be unstained by the world.
Even a hipster emerging(ish) community of faith can be blessed by the old guard revised common lectionary. God is good.