Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Pulpit in the Sky with Diamonds
Way too many things as usual in our world. I now know where I will be for my internship year- a church whose official name is- The Evangelical Lutheran Church of The Holy Trinity, more commonly just called "Trinity, Lancaster." For a full view of my internship world click here. There are many exciting and challenging things to consider and I am eager to begin, albeit a little nervous.
The pastors and staff have been a joy to meet. It is exhilirating to know that though the congregation has never had an intern, they are "thrilled" to have me there. And in my interaction with the various staff and volunteers, the excitement is indeed palpable. Having now had the tour of the sanctuary and the separate parish building, I am sure I will get lost a least once a day for awhile.
But I also believe that everyone there will simply smile and help me get oriented... again. The work of the church is extensive both locally and globally. There is much to see and to learn.
The church has been around since the early 1700's, and a Muhlenberg is involved, so truly there is a cloud of witnesses. There is actually a letter to the "pastor of the congregation" from Muhlenberg which is shared with each new pastor. The picture above depicts the view from the organ in the balcony to the pulpit which, when one stands in it, is almost level with the balcony. Behind the pulpit is a 16 foot mural of the Resurrected Christ. The congregation is used to a 25 minute sermon and the congregation library holds 3600 books which are theological- in other words, there is not a " DaVinci Code" in sight.
And as I stood in this pulpit, knowing the first date I will preach as the first vicar, gazing at the massive Bible in the pulpit, looking at the windows, one of which is by Louis Comfort Tiffany, I wonder- what does the cloud of witnesses think? Will the 16 foot Jesus come alive during my sermon and step down to say,"That's not what I meant!" when I am preaching?
So I think of the words I shared with a potential commuter student just a couple weeks ago. She asked, " How will I make this all happen?" I encouraged her to ponder instead, " How will God work through me to bring me to this new place?"
With a little creative license from the medical profession, perhaps I need to hear-
"Preacher, hear thyself!"
While I sort that out I confess to singing the old Beatles song with a new twist...