I have never had an epiphany in the truest sense of the word. My whole life I have been in a spiritual community surrounded by faithful people trying their best to live up to the Word. I’m envious of people who can tell their own ‘Road to Emmaus’ story. But my spiritual journey has been far more mundane. And this week’s sermon of how there is divinity in the mundane, how there is spirituality in just waking up every day, how every day can begin with our own personal baptism — all of that got me thinking about my father.
We arrived at our little church most Sunday mornings in a bluster and hurry to get to Sunday School, or check in with friends. My brother and I would burst through the door and veer left to our classrooms, tennis shoes squeaking on the tiles. My mother, who served on innumerable committees, swerved left looking for our pastor to check in with her about Church Council activities or Finance matters or Building committee agendas. My Father turned right.
To the right was the coffee pot. Everyone counted on my father to make the coffee in the mornings so that when it came time to gather between the Sunday School lessons and the Sermons – the baptismal font was steaming hot and ready full of coffee.
My father did much for the little church we attended over the twenty years we were there, he served on Trustees, he cooked and delivered Mobile Meals every week, he led many Scout Troops, but probably the biggest spiritual impact he had was in that right turn he made every Sunday morning. In the most mundane way possible he made community possible. Standing there with mug in hand everyone could hear how Tom & Leigh were doing on their house hunt, how Jerri’s doctoral thesis was coming along, what the oncologist had said about Bob and can we help. That silly coffee pot was the place that all the real communing started in my little church and my father always made sure the sacramental elements of the day were ready when Sunday School was over.