AUGUST 29, 2018
CLOSE YOUR EYES, AND DREAM ...
Good morning everyone! For those who are new to Christchurch School, my name is Fr. Scott and I am the chaplain here. This morning, I really want to share with you how excited I am for this coming school year. Your teachers have been working really hard this summer to make this the best school year that you’ve ever had. Yes, there will be homework and quizzes, tests and projects, but you’ll also have the chance to explore some really cool stuff. They’re excited about it, I’m excited about it… and I hope you’re excited about it too.
One of the cool things that I was able to do this summer was go and visit different churches. Granted, that may not be your idea of fun, but for me seeing old churches is something that I’m interested in and so I did it. I try to live into what it means to be intellectually curious. So one hot Sunday morning, I was at a church about 30 miles from here, and I saw this really sweet old lady leading her granddaughter by the hand into church. This girl was adorable. Red hair, little dimples, and the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen. Adorable.
As they got ready to go in the front door, the woman said to the little girl, “Sweetie, do you remember why we’re quiet in church?”
“Yes, nana,” she said. “We don’t want to wake the people up!”
I lost it. Here was this little girl speaking truth to me – I was in for a longggg sermon. But then the grandmother shot me eyes that told me I was in trouble.
She said, “That’s right Margaret: church is a place for dreaming, and we don’t want to wake anyone up from their dreams.”
This girl had been taught a great truth: Church is a place for dreaming – this chapel is a place for dreaming.
Christchurch is a proud school, a proud Episcopal school. Being an Episcopal school means that everything we do finds its basis in the Christian tradition. This is a tradition that believes each one of you is uniquely created and has purpose in this life; it’s a tradition that believes in second chances, even when it seems crazy to do so.
The best part, though, about being an Episcopal school is that you don’t have to believe a thing… you just get to experience its truth by living here as a community. If you’ve ever wondered “why am I so different,” you will find that the people here love you just the way you are because God made you who you are. If you’re here for a second chance, you know we mean it when we say we are who we are because of God’s story of redemption. These walls can testify: we live life together, and we recognize the abundance God has given us.
Part of this tradition also recognizes that we’re not perfect. We’re going to mess up and get it wrong sometimes. And (and this is a big AND), and we acknowledge this and try again. We try to live life as God created it to be lived. We try to live into the story that God wrote for us… we try to live into the dream that this old woman was teaching her granddaughter about. And I think that’s a pretty cool way to live.
Every week, we’ll gather in this chapel to dream. We’ll close our eyes and hear a story about what it means to be human. These walls have their foundation deep in this story. We will come to know what it’s like to be formed of the dust of the earth, to be molded like a potter molds clay. We will come to know what it’s like when this potter holds us in his hands and then breathes in us the breath of life.
We will dream about what it means to be truly alive. To explore the wide world. Mr. Byers said it best on Monday: the white fences are not meant to keep the world out, they’re there to know that we’ve brought the world to you. We’re a school that believes in each one of you, because we believe that God formed each one of you by hand. Every gift, every skill, every hope and dream – we believe – was given to you by God.
Every week we will gather in these walls, together, to take part in this dreaming. We’ll be curious about the world around us. We’ll grow our self-confidence in who we are – not a boastful “look at me,” but a humble, “I know I can do this.” We’ll find that there are differences between us, and we’ll be kind to one another, accepting each other as we are – because we all are seahorses, and we’ll respect that. And finally, we’ll do all of this with integrity.
You see, not only do we believe that the great potter molded each one of us from the dust of the earth, but we believe that the potter’s fingerprints remain on each of us. People will try to categorize, to throw us in a box. But regardless of the culture we’re from, the color of our skin, or the politics we support, at the end of the day we’re all basically human, and we all need each other. In the story Andrew just read, God (the potter) recognizes that the human needs companionship:, a community. The story tells us that every animal you could imagine was there, but the human’s desire for community was something those things couldn’t satisfy. The human needed real people to sit with, real people to laugh and play with, he needed real people to study and learn with. He needed real people to dream with.
Close your eyes and dream, my brothers and sisters. Imagine the world as God imagines it, and see yourself living it.