This Sunday we return, as we return every year, to the normal rhythm of our lives. Summer is over, the new church year has begun.
It is good to take a moment and mark this moment. So many things in our lives happen without our noticing, we look back and realize that something has shifted. Here, in this place, we say slow down. Look around. Pay attention. So we make rituals, and celebrate holy days and mark the transitions in our lives.
This morning, we celebrate our returning to each other with the returning of water. We understand water to be a symbol of our lives, of our journey. We carry the water that sustained us somewhere else back to our home, so that we can share it with our community.
The water that we bring with us represents where we have come from, the people that we are as we enter this new community. And it also represents the way this community might change us. Once our water merge with the others, there is no way we can go back to being the same. We will be irreversibly mixed.
We are saying:
You bring you.
I’ll bring me.
And then we’ll mix them and merge them and make something new. It is living, flowing history. I inherited it when I arrived as your minister, and it will outlast my ministry. This water is a reminder that our community has been shaped and loved and informed by a whole lot more people than are sitting here this morning.
This water is us. Every Sunday morning this water is us. When we put our rocks in the bowl, knowing that this community, represented by the water that we have chosen as our placeholder, will hold everyone. This morning we have asked you to bring your water, to make the physical sign of the creation of this community, so that next week we will be ready to receive everyone who walks in with a heart that is tugged down or a soul that is so light it feels as though we are floating. Our water, like our community, is waiting to receive us all. So this Sunday, come ready to add to these waters.