Monday, January 14, 2008
Over Christmas vacation, I had the opportunity to play a solo at the church where I grew up. Things always seem to change when you've been gone for a while (like the old saying, "you can't go home again")--most of my old academy buddies have long since moved away, the church has mostly new pastoral staff, and, as many larger SDA churches, the spiritual focus seems to have shifted too, away from the old-fashioned Biblical focus towards following the current worldly marketing trends.
No matter how the trends in society change over time however, there will always be plenty of people in each church who have retained the spirit of simple, Christlike thoughtfulness. I received an envelope full of encouragement in the mail this week in the form of the good ol' "blue cards" I grew up with--made available in all of the pews and sent out by the church to other members and friends for encouragement. These are the kind of notes I always used to get whenever I played in church, starting from when I was about 13 years old. I collected a very large pile over the years; I think I still have most of them. They are among the inspirations that made me continue as a violinist. I thought that if the church members were blessed by my music, maybe there was a ministry for me in it. I was so excited to see that some of the very same people who sent me cards in the past were still sending them (I received about 8 of them this week).