March 11, 2018

Have you ever had the experience of hearing a song that takes you back to the place where you heard it for the first time?   For me it was this past Wednesday when Dave Olsen was practicing the organ. From the top of the stairs I recognized the music he was playing so, I zoomed down the stairs, hurried into church, knelt down, closed my eyes and listened with such intensity that my heart started to beat just a tad faster.  Dave was playing a classical piece entitled Sanctus. Sanctus is the Latin for Holy.

The first time that I heard Sanctus was in November 2015.  A goal that I’d been working on for several years was on the brink of success until I was told that a small but highly significant part of my project needed to be completed before I could go any further.  Why didn’t I know this sooner I asked? Information fell through the cracks so come back again next year. My friends the joy that could have resonated within me was transformed into frustration and tears.

Consequently I got depressed until one day I heard the ethereal voice of soprano Jesse Norman.  Jesse’s voice and the spirit emanating from her soul broke through my darkness and I prayed to God for the energy and enthusiasm to try again. I did and now whenever I hear Sanctus being played or sung I stop and recall that moment of spiritual pain but more importantly the day that through God’s grace and the encouragement of friends and colleagues I finished the project!

It’s no wonder then that Mary’s song of praise is one for all people of every generation.  

Mary understood that an all powerful God had his eyes fixed on the poor and humble so a poor and humble girl was chosen to give birth to the Savior of the world! That’s something to sing about!

God looks on the fragile state of our souls and feeds us faithfully through Word and Sacrament. Mary was asked to carry the Son of God and we are asked to take the Son of God out into the world every time we gather at the Lord’s table.

Trinity has a rich history of faithfulness.  God’s faithfulness to you as a congregation and your response to that faithfulness is evident literally and symbolically.  There are a number of pillars strategically placed to support the foundation of the church. Without the pillars the building would be deemed unsafe and impractical.

Symbolically the pillars could represent all of the generations that shared time, talents, resources and money to make Trinity a beacon light for everyone who hungers and thirsts for a relationship with a God who will embrace them rather than judge them and cast them aside.

Needless to say without those pillars of time, talents, resources and money this building wouldn’t exist but the faith of each member of the congregation would still thrive!  Word and Sacrament cannot be crushed. In Romans 8 we hear:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present, nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord

Looking around our church this morning there’s plenty of evidence to prove that we are a congregation that connects all of God’s people from  generation to generation.

For instance I’m almost certain that we have people here from the The Greatest Generation 1925 – 1945……..    Baby Boomer 1946 – 1964,

Generation X 1965 – 1979       Millenial 1980 – 1994,

Generation Z 1995 – 2012 and   Alpha Generation 2013 – 2025.

Informative facts but even though I don’t like being categorized, I find it all too easy to do.

Sometimes I am quick to make a judgment about someone who enjoys parading around with rainbow hair, and earrings on eyebrows, lips and nose.  Is she eccentric? Does he need attention? What’s up with that? HMMMMM must be an Alpha Generation 2013 – 25 person.

On the other hand, in walks a young man wearing a black suit, polished shoes, and a haircut that makes sense.  None of the one side shaved while the other side isn’t kind of haircut. Ah yes……dressing for success! Must be a Millennial 1980 – 1994 kind of guy.

During the storm last week, I like many of you lost power.  Consequently, I saw a contingency of neighbors flocking to one restaurant or another for meals.  One night I decided to go to Boston Market. I calculated what my bill was going to be and when it was time to pay the bill, I noticed that I was charged less than what I calculated  . Excuse me, but is that the correct amount? No, I automatically gave you the senior discount. I looked at her and asked, so what was your first clue? My hair right?

The bubbly young woman just smiled but I went away thinking Oh no.  What I feel like on the inside is much younger than what my countenance portrays on the outside!

My Generation Z friend would have done me a big favor by calling my attention to Psalm 71:  O God from my youth you have taught me, and still I proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age, gray hairs o God do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might from one generation to another.

In turn, I would have shown  her that I do have the upmost respect for her age by quoting Timothy 4: 1-12.  Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, and in purity.  Persist in this, for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers.

My friends, the work of the Holy Spirit isn’t limited by age, gender or socioeconomic status.  He is poured out for all people according to the good and gracious will of God. No generation is exempt from the destructive power of sin and no generation is exempt from God’s love.

As a family of faith, it would behoove us to continue to put our resources of wisdom, age and grace to good use. If we make a firm commitment to see beyond the limitations of age and the frustrations of youth we can become one united generation without categories that define and separate us.

Jesus died so that all generations could be called children of God and that should be the only title that defines us.  Amen