May The Fourth Be With You
I have never had a time in my life without the Star Wars legacy. My first action figures I had was a Princess Leia from Empire Strikes Back. I remember begging to watch the movies whenever they came on. I remember saving up and buying my mom the boxed VHS set of the original trilogy. I remember getting to see them on the big screen when George Lucas rereleased the original cuts in the late 90s. I can quote almost the entirity of the those movies. So the next couple of days are fun in our house as we find different Star Wars things to do because today, May 4th is called Star Wars Day. Tomorrow folks will say Revenge of the 5th (or 6th). I do not remember when it started but I can remember as far back as 10 years ago. Then some one was clever and put together Star Wars Day & the beginning of our liturgy for communion, May the Lord be with you and May the Force be with you and wham - the connection of faith & fantasy. I have lots of clergy who are friends and my Facebook feed fills up quickly.
It was 64 years ago today that the United Methodist Church began the ordination of women. When you put them all together this a special day in my life - but more because of the people that come to mind. From a former Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Steinberg who not only encouraged me to pursue the call to ministry (who had a deep sense of call herself), Rev. Patricia Farris my first female District Superintendent, Rev. Faith Conklin (my first Senior Pastor of my home church), Rev. Leotine Kelly (first female Bishop that I was aware of) and I could go on and on and on.
In my heart I saw Princess Leia and female clergy as my super heroes and role models. They were pioneers and doing something that made them standout and not just because they were women - they were always fighting for justice and things bigger than themselves. I loved Princess Leia because she did not need rescuing and could take care of herself. I could go on and on and on. One of the things that I appreciated about the Revs Farris, Conklin and Kelly is that simply by being themselves they showed me that there was not 1 right way to live into my call.
As we continue to care for each other by maintaining physical distance I invite you to reflect on what only you can bring to the world. What are the ways that your gifts match the world's needs. Because we need each other. None of us can do it on our own. Not only do we need role models and mentors but we need folks who will use their gifts and together we can make a difference. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians reminded them and us that God gives us each gifts and that we are to work together to building the saints for the ministry. Let us pray - God reveal our gifts that when we work with others we can make a difference in the world around us. Through Christ our Lord, amen.