A Message From The Pastor
Each month our Pastor, Rev. Darryl Andrzejewski, has a message for us. It always makes us think about what is happening in our lives and the lives of those around us during that time. Click on the above link for his biography.
"THE STRAY'S RETURN HOME:
A Day in the Life of an Ugly Dog"
I recently read an interesting quote. It comes from legendary baseball manager Casey Stengel. It's about wins and losses over an entire Major League season. He said something to this effect: No matter what, a major league team will win one-third and lose one-third of its games every season. The remaining one-third is up to that team, the one-third that determine whether the team finishes first, last or in between.
Although the proportions are different, I think we can say the same thing about life as we know it. Everybody experiences wins and losses... that's a given. But there is a majority of life that is lived in the middle, which is largely determined by the decisions we make, the paths we choose, but most importantly, where we turn when we don't know where to turn.
Like the Emmaus disciples (Luke 24:13-25) that late Easter Eve, we all have our journeys. Some are quite profound: Committing to the love of your life. Going to war... while leaving loved ones behind. Trudging through end-of-life decisions.
Sometimes our routine journeys from one day to the next are not as deep. Perhaps lost in the grind of life is the profound reality that Jesus is still walking with us.
The question is... do we recognize Him?
A tattered and smelly dog found his way to our front porch one early spring evening. My then 9-year-old son Nicolas, dog lover that he is, considered this a sign from God. He was divinely chosen to find this prodigal's way home. Further revelation revealed, he determined, that I was called to be his Aaron, holding him up on his journey to the Promised Land.
What started as a strange dog at our front door, turned into a ninety minute trek that led us knocking on dozens of doors, and scaring countless neighbors as the evening turned into night.
Up and down the street we traveled. No leads. No success.
I was comfortable and confident that we'd gone the extra mile, and was eager to release the dog "back into the wild" of our neighborhood, but Nick had already invested too much time and too much of his heart. He wouldn't rest until home was found.
My oldest son arrived to give us a lead that brought this pooch a little closer to home. So our journey moved from the immediate subdivision to the neighborhood beyond.
By this time, the amount of time and energy we invested in finding this dog's home was far ahead of just being neighborly.
That fact did not escape my son. On the last leg of trip, Nick wondered aloud of the size of the reward this long lost dog would retrieve.
Two streets west, we unearthed our first break: A doggy name and a general direction of home. His name was Basil, and his house was blue. A blue house "maybe two more streets" west.
At 9pm, under the cover of night, we started down a long, dark street looking for a blue house.
(Has anyone ever mentioned that in the dark of night... all houses look blue?)
We looked for life in the homes we were scanning. We looked for activity. We looked for some kind of movement that might suggest a family looking for a lost dog. We came to the end of the street to a house that could have been blue, gray, beige, or green.
Somebody was standing in the front picture window. So we knocked yet again. A young man opened it.
"Have you ever seen this dog?"
He examined the mangy mutt, reached down, unleashed him, asked where we found him, and then spoke loudly into the house "Its Basil".
Then... he closed the door.
Not even a thank you.
As we walked down the driveway, I couldnt help but notice that my son's eyes kept drifting back to the blue house. My heart was crushed for him. I was wondering how significantly he was bruised. No reward. No shouts of joy coming for a dog's long lost return.
Not even a thank you.
But Nicolas was smiling as we started that long walk home.
"How do you feel?" I asked.
"We brought a dog back to his family", he said.
As much as I thought this expedition was a teaching moment for my son, I think, perhaps, it was a teaching moment for me.
The dog was home. And--even to a nine-year-old boy--that's all mattered.
We all have our journeys, and most of the time we are so wrapped up in the things of this world that we fail to recognize that Jesus is walking with us.
Not quietly or idly. He's showing us glimpses of glory and glances of grace.
He says in Matthew, "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you." Or to put it differently, "When you recognize that Jesus walks with you, you will see things differently."
In Emmaus, the separation of the disciple's blindness from their vision was a teaching moment. It was the Word made available to them. It was a journey with Jesus that crested when "He took the bread, broke it, gave thanks, and gave it them" (Lk 24:30).
Does that sound familiar?
It is the profound moment of Jesus' real presence... of the strength and blessing, the glory and grace we receive when Jesus reveals Himself to us.
Perhaps the difference between ignorance and bliss is our intentional ability to look beyond the clutter of this world (beyond the horizontal), and to journey vertically... looking for Jesus in every decision we make and every path that we choose.
At every turn in the road. - DLA
Historic Trinity Lutheran Church
1345 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48207
Phone: (313) 567-3100
Fax: (313) 567-3209