Sunday, September 25, 2005

September 25, 2005

6:55 AM I am writing this note from my computer in my office at church on the last Sunday of my ministry at Calvary. Right now everything is quiet. Bob Boerman is in early this morning. I saw him in his office as I came in. Somewhere Armando is unlocking doors, turning on lights, and putting out the traffic cones for the drop-off zone and for the bus that brings Moody students to church. Last night we arrived back home from Lexington at about 10:10 PM. I finally got to bed after midnight and kept waking up during the night because I didn’t want to oversleep on my final Sunday. That basically never happens but I guess my mind was worried about it so I kept waking up and looking at the red numbers on the digital clock by our bed. I remember seeing 3:21 AM. My office is completely bare. The books are gone, the Chinese Scripture banners have come down, the prayer that Len Hoppe gave me when I was installed as pastor has been packed away, the shelves are empty, my desk and my credenza are completely cleared out. The only thing left to do is to copy some files from my computer, and I’ll do that tomorrow morning. The office basically looks as it did when I came in August 1989. When I woke up, I was trying to find an email with a testimony I could use at the end of my message. I couldn’t find it so I asked Marlene to help . She went to her email program and found the address, which helped me find the testimony. I’ve been saying that we want to minister together as a team in the future so I guess we’re off to a good start. Meanwhile Mark has been writing me from China all week long because he wants to watch the final service live over the Internet. Last night he sent the following message:

Dad, I talked to the internet guy here…and he said the connection should be fine for me to view it…so, I’ll connect for the third service to see your last service at calvary. It’s as close as it gets to being there, and it’ll have to do…good luck tomorrow.

Since there is a thirteen hour time difference between Chicago and China, that means he’ll be watching our 11:30 AM service at 12:30 AM (just after midnight) in China. I walked to church this morning, as I usually do until it gets too cold, and as I did, I thought about this being my last Sunday to pastor in Oak Park. I prayed for various pastors I know in Chicago and around the country, and I prayed for the staff and elders at Calvary. As we approach the start of my final Sunday, I thought about what they say on the street, “It’s all good.” God is good, and it’s been good, and I’m glad to be here for one more Sunday.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?