The Pastor's Peace - May, 2013
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There have been quite a few birthdays recently. Of course there are the regular birthdays that have been happening with people turning all sorts of ages from 9 to 90. There was also our all-church birthday party during April, when we got to celebrate everyone’s birthday, and learn some fun facts about people as well. I still think November had the best table, but then again I might be biased.

Birthdays are a funny thing. When we are younger we can’t wait for them to happen, another year older, presents, cake etc. As we get older they still have some appeal, as we are able to do things like drive and vote. Eventually, however, birthdays become less fun for most. We are reminded of the fact that we are yet again a year older; we reach milestones we perhaps don’t want to celebrate, 40, 50, 80, etc. There are of course still some presents and cake, but I know many a 40 year old that would forgo all the festivities to be 39 again. Why do we dread getting older? Is it because we think our best days are behind us?

There is one more birthday coming up that I have not mentioned yet, and that, of course, is the Church’s birthday--not just our church, but The Church. The entire creation of the Church—the body of Christ—is celebrated on Pentecost, May 19th this year. This is the day that the followers of Christ received the Holy Spirit and came together as one. Now when we celebrate
this birthday, we are still pretty happy about it, even though the cake might have close to 2000 candles on it. And you thought being 90 was old! We celebrate it because we remember all of the beauty and love that the Church has brought into our lives and the lives of others. We celebrate it because we find it miraculous that a Church started by a peasant from nowhere has survived for almost 2000 years, has billions of followers, and has persevered despite the challenges of the world.

Perhaps we can learn a lesson about our own birthday from Pentecost. Rather than focusing on one more year gone of our finite life on earth, we can celebrate all of the people that we have loved and helped over the years. We can celebrate the fact that we have been preserved for many decades in spite of the challenges of the world. Everything on earth is finite, even the Church. Only with God and in God are we eternal. The Church, us, Beavercreek, the earth itself will cease to be some day, but God’s love and our life with God will never cease. This year, when your birthday comes around, try to remember that it is not how much time we have left, but what we have done with the time we have had that is important. We are all children of God, and no matter how long we have been here, we have all contributed to the beauty of God’s creation. Take heart in that, take a deep breath, blow out the candles, and have some cake.

Peace and Happy Birthday,
Pastor Brian