As part of my morning routine I stuff various things into my pockets as I dress in the morning: pen, wallet, handkerchief, pocketknife, keys, etc. This morning I added another item--a compass. I knew when I got dressed this morning that I would be going to the Downtown Bible Study and would therefore likely be navigating the windowless corridors beneath the core of our fair city. A compass, I've learned, is a handy way to keep from getting lost in the underground labyrinth. Sure enough, I got a confused while looking for my car after the meeting, but as soon as I whipped out the compass and oriented myself I was able to find my way again.
A wise bishop, on noticing that my home parish in New Jersey had put up new outside signs, commented, "A sign is a useful thing for someone looking for direction." Indeed, we all know how useful a little direction can be. Yet do we do enough to provide the people around us with signs of God's presence and message? At times I wonder whether we suffer from being a bit too reticent to share the love and hope we have been given. On the other hand, are we wise enough to see the signs put in our paths or to pull out our spiritual compass from time to time to whether we are heading in the right direction?
This Sunday will be doing a bit of collective compass gazing as we gather for our Annual Vestry meeting. The Wardens and other leaders will give reports about our work as church and we will respond with questions and counsel. My hope is that we will do this with attention, wisdom, and even joy!
Almighty God, you are the Way. Guide us with signs to paths of righteousness where we might not stumble, but return to you our Creator. Help us to walk as children of light as we seek to live out your Gospel in this community of faith. Bless our deliberations and our discernment as we gather to examine our life together. Prosper the work of your Holy Spirit among us and keep us always mindful of Jesus, who taught us to serve if we would lead. We ask this in His Name, Amen.In Christ,