Monday, July 18, 2016

Ukulele Metaphors

Yesterday, our weeks of ukulele lessons culminated in a recital of sorts.  We played "This Little Light of Mine" as the first song of our VBS service:

I love this picture of me and the ukulele:

Yesterday was a day of church endings of several starts:  our week of Vacation Bible School came to an end with our VBS Sunday service, and our 5 weeks of ukulele came to an end.  I've been seeing church friends and acquaintances much more often than I will for the rest of the summer, as we take our vacations and go back to work/regular life and get ready for school to start.

In so many ways, it's been a wonderful time, and I'm somewhat sad for it to come to an end.  It reminds me of other high festival times, like Holy Week or Advent/Christmas.  It's been a great opportunity to have something similar in the summer, which is so often a time of vanishing/ramping down in U.S. churches.  It's been good to stay connected to people.

There's no doubt in my mind that we've deepened the spiritual lives of the VBS kids--will it stick?  I don't know, but I know the statistics:  it's these kinds of experiences, along with church camp, that are the best predictors of adult church participation.

Have we deepened the spiritual lives of the ukulele group?  To be fair, it wasn't designed to be that kind of group or experience.  It was designed to teach a group of people efficiently and to provide fellowship--it's done that.  Most of us started out with no experience, and we can now pluck our way through a song.  We'll keep meeting on the last Sunday of every month, so it's been a success, since we want to keep going.

We are also preparing ourselves for the potential of something larger:  teaching children?  becoming more of a part of worship?  We don't know yet, but we're strengthening the foundation.

In so many ways, that's a metaphor for spiritual and church life.  We gather to strengthen ourselves, both individually and as a larger group.  We know that God has gathered us for a reason, even if we're not sure what it is.  But we prepare, and thus, we are ready.

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