Do you remember in the story from Genesis we read a couple of weeks ago, when Jacob came to Haran? He worked for his uncle Laban for seven years to earn the right to marry his daughter Rachel, but ended up marrying her sister Leah first, and then had to wait another seven years to marry his true love, Rachel. There is a touching line in the text where it says “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.” (Gen 29:20)
On Sunday, September 3, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our relationship as pastor and congregation. And I think I know something of how Jacob felt. We began this relationship formally on September 2, 2007. It has been ten years since I preached my first sermon as your pastor, but it seems to me but a few days because of the love I have for you.
During worship I may get a bit sentimental and reminisce about our 10 years together. Remembering is important. But we will place equal emphasis on the future and what still lies ahead.
You’ve probably heard the story of the woman who was coming to the end of her life and when her pastor visited her she made an unusual request. She said she wanted to be buried with a fork in her hand. When the puzzled pastor asked why, she recalled all the church suppers and potlucks she had been to in her long years as a faithful church member. And she remembered that when the dishes were being cleared from the table after the main dish but before dessert was served, someone would tell her to keep her fork because “the best is yet to come.”
Even as we celebrate our ten years together, even as we remember the long service of former pastor Don Simmonds, let us keep our eyes on the future and keep our forks in hand as we anticipate that “the best is yet to come” in the life of this congregation.