A Pastor's Perspective 12-12-2023

There’s a chair in my house that I never ever would have picked out as a favorite chair. It has a hard wooden seat and is neither known for its comfort nor it’s back support. You don’t curl up in it underneath the soft glow of a nearby lamp. It’s not much to look at: plain, parts once painted white are now distressed with the dings and scratches of constant use over the years. It is a chair around our kitchen table. It is filled constantly with family and friends and has been for 20+ years: from weeknight family meals to birthday and holiday gatherings to conversations both hilarious and heartbreaking. These days I’m likely to come in for lunch and see Sophie and her friends seated there discussing homework and life. It has become my favorite chair for these reasons and because it is where I come nearly every morning with my coffee (or tea these days), my peanut butter toast; and my Bible is waiting there for me, and I spend a few moments seeking what the Lord has in store for us for the day. You might say the chair chose me. On the contrary I definitely chose the chair in my office precisely because it adjusted high enough for me to sit comfortably at a piano and had armrests that would raise when I needed to play my guitar without constantly hitting the back on an armrest. I love it!
From thrones to La-Z-Boys, chairs tell us something important about our values, who we are, what we need. They communicate the expectations of a space, from the single recliner in the hospital room to the thousands of a sporting arena. This past Thursday around 40 volunteers - a gathering as intergenerational as it could get during the school day - showed up to unload, unbox, unpackage and set-up 530 new chairs in the Fellowship Hall, arranged for worship. As much as anything I can recall in my 20 years here, those new chairs absolutely transformed our multipurpose Fellowship Hall into a Sanctuary. Wow!
Rita Ruble? (She voiced the need.) Drew O’Quinn? (“Chaired” the Committee.) Chair Committee? (We’re Baptists. Of course we had a committee.) Thank you for your thoughtful, diligent and determined work. Whether in circles or rows, may these chairs play an important role moving forward as we create environments where guests and longtimers alike find the welcome of Christ among a people seeking to discover God, develop faith, and display Christlike love in our attitudes and actions.
So, come on in and find a seat. I’ll see you Sunday.
Giles Blankenship