Every August when I was a kid, my mother and grandfather took my brother and I school shopping. Granddad was always interested in making sure that our pants fit correctly and were long enough; he did not want to see his grandsons in “high water” jeans. My mom bought our school supplies and she always gave me and my brother an option to buy a brand new lunch box.
In accordance with our different personalities, my brother and I always responded differently to the invitation for a new lunch box. My brother wanted to keep his old lunch box; I think he carried the same lunch box all throughout elementary school. I, however, always wanted a new lunch box each school year, depending on what was “in” that year. Therefore, my mom bought me a Hot Wheels lunch box one fall, and a H.R. Pufnstuf lunch box one fall, and a Charlie Brown lunch box another fall. Each August, I accepted the invitation for the renewal of my lunch box.
Each August at St. Alban’s, we are given an invitation for the renewal of our faith, as it is lived out in this special community.
We are invited to the renewal of our faith as we return to regular and faithful worship on Sunday mornings. We are invited to sing in your choir; we are invited to join in Bible studies; we are invited into women’s fellowship and men’s breakfast and a youthful tubing trip down the Comal River and a new young adult community that is forming. We are invited to fill backpacks with school supplies for children at Cedar Ridge Elementary School; we are invited to meet new friends while cleaning or weeding around our church buildings. We are invited to lead children’s chapel; we are invited to gather in homes for a dinner for 8 at 7. We are invited to transformation and renewal.
Almost 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul also invited us, writing in his Letter to the Romans: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind (12:2).”
Each August at St. Alban’s, we renew our minds and our schedules and our priorities. With openness to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, our hearts are transformed to love, as we re-engage our faith and renew our minds.
This fall, you might not need a new lunch box. But, please, accept the invitation to renewal.