Monday, October 29, 2007

The Town Pastor
I have been pastor of First Baptist Church of Allendale, SC for almost 8 months now. I now have to watch my step because folks are beginning to recognize me at Hardee's, the post office, and grocery store. This is small town life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am one of a few full-time pastors who reside in town. This makes me the go-to-guy for a number of occasions. One distinct honor came this summer when members of our National Guard unit returned after being deployed in Iraq for a year. I was asked to deliver the invocation in a welcome home ceremony. It was a special experience to look out at the faces of families who had not seen these men and women for a year. Everyone was happy they were home. It certainly was a holy moment. Everyone knew that. I might have felt like Peter did at the transfiguration. "It's good for us to be here!" I don't know why Jesus did not turn to Peter and say, "Well, duh!" Of course, it being Jesus, I reckon he didn't have to.

This Wednesday, I am honored to pray again at another moment in the life of the town of Allendale. A new grocery store is opening. This might not sound like a big deal, but in a town that has seen its fair share of difficult days, here is at least a glimmer of hope. Here are a few more jobs in place that has the state's third lowest unemployment rate. Here is some commerce being generated where folks are used to not being an option for shopping. Perhaps, in some subtle way, it wakes us up to more that we all could be doing as a community. Maybe, then, it won't be a glimmer of hope, but we could somehow become exposed to the bright, shining glory of God. And I'll get busy building boothes for Moses and Elijah . . .

Look for me to post the grocery store grand opening invocation Wednesday.


Anonymous said...

Surely you are nervous - praying over the cookie dough and luncheon meats, with the entire county's eyes trained on you. But when you're in the public eye like that, you have to expect it. Know that everyone you left behind in Atlanta is eagerly awaiting photos of this regal event! - Tues Night Theology

DMaC said...

This truely evokes memories of yester-year when the IGA, Monroes or even Marvin Mc's opened. Perhaps some geneologic/retail research will be done on