“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.” Psalm 25:4
The moon shined so brightly over the Peninsula that I hardly noticed how the two-lane, remote road remained unlit by lamp posts. The line it cut across the Canal rippled radiant. Such nights cause me wonder. I want to sit still and bask in the moon’s brilliance.
When I hear the Psalms speak of God showing us a path, or making his ways known, this moonlight comes to mind. In a world that too often leaves us in the dark, this image carries truth: When we cannot see the way, when have lost our bearings, God enters—like radiant moonlight—to light the way.
About 4 years ago, a friend and I decided that we needed to be brave and take a class called “Navigating with a Compass.” The goal of the class was to get us familiar enough with topographic maps and a compass to enable us to make our way through the woods and arrive where we needed to be. The final class was a real-life test: We were paired with strangers, sent off-trail, descending into unfamiliar woods, with a compass and coordinates. The object was to arrive at or near those coordinates. Suffice it to say, I had no idea where I was going until somehow we arrived at the designated place. Between the time that we started and finished we experienced confidence one minute, bushwhacked and waded through creeks bewildered the next, regrouped ourselves and tried to listen better—to our surroundings and each other, looked for markers along the way that could help us orient ourselves, and continued downward. We stepped cautiously but deliberately, we avoided steep terrain and sharp objects, we talked, and we stood quietly when needed. Until we arrived—amazed and relieved.
Figuring out a way, negotiating a path, is not easy, and it should never be done alone. That’s why God’s Word and God’s Church provide a way for us to move forward with purpose.
This month we explore Stewardship: “Everything you do after you say ‘I believe.’” Our symbol for the Season is a Compass. But the compass is not marked with North, South, East, and West. Instead it is marked with Calvary’s Four Values: Service, Practicing Generosity, Regular Worship, and Growth in Faith. Service: On September 13th we celebrated a Ministry Fair which allowed you to experience the many and various ways the members and partners of Calvary serve within and outside the congregation in ministry.
Practicing Generosity: On September 20th we welcomed Melanie Wallschlaeger, who led us in a conversation and activity that helped us to appreciate “Generosity that Sticks.”
This past Sunday at Forum we had a lively dialogue about the benefits of Regular Worship.
And this Sunday we’ll be exploring the opportunities and meaning of Growing in Faith.
These same markers will be the focus of brief talks by our members in worship in October and November.
O Lord, teach us your paths.
Rev. Lori A. Cornell