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When Love Comes To Town
CCW Weekly Brief for Sunday, February 13th, 2022
“When love comes to town I'm gonna jump that train,
When love comes to town I'm gonna catch that flame.”
-B.B King / U2
There have been seasons in my life when it felt like I was always waiting for love to come to town.
I would head out into Boystown every weekend in my twenties hoping that I would stumble across a boyfriend. I met a lot of kind, funny, and beautiful men, but like Goldilocks in the bear’s house, none of them seemed just right. In my thirties, after I had met my Mr. Right, I struggled with figuring out just what I wanted to do with my life. I worked for non-profit organizations and worked for the city before finally starting all over again and going to seminary. I still have a couple of years left in my forties, but I feel like this season in my life has been about learning to recognize that life happens in the waiting. Life happens in between our grief and our hopeful expectations, our wistful nostalgia and our strategic plan.
We wait for our table to be ready, for our number to be called, for the El train to pull into the station, and for that baby to be born. We wait for phone calls from doctors, family to arrive home during bad weather, and for an important appointment to happen. We wait for a new season in our lives to finally emerge. Sometimes we are patient, but often the waiting feels tedious and frustrating—if not downright tortuous.
In my twenties, as I was waiting to figure how to love, I read a book by one of Oprah’s resident self-help gurus Iyanla Vanzant called In The Meantime. I forgot what the book actually said and I’m sure that I would pick apart the author’s “power of positive thinking” theology today, but that title has stuck with me for twenty years. We are always living the meantime. We are always living between what will become and what was. We are always waiting for love to come town even as we we watch it leave.
The meantime is the present moment. The meantime is now.
Looking back, I can now see that all through my twenties I was surrounded by love. If I was lonely, it was because I chose not to see the love that was already there. Love had come to town in the form of roommates who were like sisters and brothers to me, neighbors whose doors were always open, and friends to celebrate life with. And in my thirties, I was already doing the work that would become the most meaningful to me over these past twenty years. I was learning what it means to be a person of faith and to care for people even as I was learning how to build a home and family.
In these newsletters on Sunday mornings, I often talk about a radically-realized eschatology—a recognition that the kin-dom of God isn’t happening somewhere out there in the future but is always and already happening in the present. The kin-dom of God is always emerging all around us.
The kin-dom of God in happening in the meantime.
And so, on this Valentine’s Day weekend, on these long months of winter, and on this seemingly never-ending season of anxiety and upheavals, may we all embrace the life that is happening right now. As we wait for love to come to town, may the Holy open our eyes to see that the train has already pulled into the station and the flame is already dancing around us.
Join Us For Worship
Join us in person or online this Sunday morning as our Pastoral Intern Anna Piela reflects on the blessing and the woes that Jesus offers in Luke’s gospel. Music will be led by CCW Music Director Winifred Brown and Sam Krausz. This week’s worship leader is Peg Betty Jacobs.
For those joining us in person on Sunday morning, we continue to request that everyone keeps their mask on during worship and encourage everyone to practice social distancing whenever possible. If you are attending online, please feel free to turn your camera on during the service and to unmute as we share joys and concerns or share our reflections.
To participate in the worship online via Zoom, please click on the button below.
Living and Serving Together
Anna Piela’s Latest Reflection in The Christian Citizen
Anna’s reflection on the ideas of impartiality within faith communities was recently featured in The Christian Citizen, a publication of the American Baptist Home Missions Society. In the reflection, Anna asks how we are called to honor our prophetic call to seek justice when our culture and our faith communities want us to glorify impartiality. Click on the button below to take a look.