Sunday, November 9, 2008

Get Away

I taking a couple of days off for a little 'get away'. I call these trips 'being a tourist in my own backyard' or 'alone trips'. There are so many amazing things to see - so many peaceful and relaxing places here in Southern California to visit. I love to jump in the car and take off for a couple of days of exploring. I am a classic introvert. I recharge by withdrawing and being alone. For me, there is nothing more restorative than a couple of days on an 'alone trip'.

I decided to wake up extra early this morning so I could make it as far as Los Angeles in time for church. A few months ago I stumbled upon a unique little church. Since then, I have been looking for an opportunity to visit again.

I was not has organized as I had hoped on Saturday evening - so Sunday morning I scrambled and ran around like crazy to finish packing. I ran out the door a little later than planned - but lucky for me the traffic heading to Los Angeles was light. I even managed to arrive early for church. My last church visit was on a holiday weekend where I slipped in the back and then left right away . Even so, several people recognized me and greeted me!

The homily this morning was given by the Seminary Intern. Kobie grew up in South Africa during apartheid. She was there during the suppression of the ANC, the riots, the freeing of Mandela and his subsequent election. Her reflections of her faith journey and growing awareness of the oppression around her were powerful. The parallels between her personal journey and the journey of California and the entire country - of which the election this week was just one chapter - were crystal clear.

The following is an excerpt from an e-mail reflection sent out as preparation for this week's message:

As I was watching history unfold in front of my eyes Tuesday, I could imagine myself thirty years into the future, grandchildren sitting at my feet, telling them the story of my life. I, the white girl from South Africa, growing up during Apartheid, reared to be a racist, twice saw the realm of God breaking into this world, overcoming the forces of injustice, prejudice, and evil. It is a story told many times over in Scripture. It tells the story of a God who did not walk away after creating the world, but a God who is involved in the here and now. A God who does hear the cries and laments of a suffering people. A God who became a suffering servant, sharing in our pain and struggle.

Weaved together in Scripture is a multitude of faith stories, people just like you and I, sharing with us not only their triumphs and jubilations, but also their darkest hours.

- Kobie Vermaak

For many in this congregation recent events have brought some dark hours. I was encouraged and inspired by the time of prayer at the end of the service. The joy and peace despite adversity shone through.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Thanks for your reflections. I (on behalf of the church) am honored that you bustled around in time to make it all the way from SD in time for worship!

The funny thing is, I had just gone to your website, maybe half an hour ago, to see if you'd posted anything yet! And pretty soon, my computer bleeped its "new message" chirp and it was telling me that you'd posted a new comment! Amazing!