I am certain there are many comparisons of the condition of these altar table items and the vitality of Starrsville UMC that can be drawn, and I am claiming the gift of time and work of this member of this community of faith as hope for the direction we are traveling towards for the future.
As the pastor-in-charge, and with a nod to those who know their Myers-Briggs types reading this, I am an ESTJ. It is easy for me to be "in charge" of everything, and I find that letting go of my preferences for S and J for N and P allow me to let things go so that I fully acknowledge that God is in charge. It is a difficult thing for me to do, and yet I practice it as often as I can when placing things that need to be done on the "back burner."
Hoping and praying ever so often over the past four and half months that this work would get done by someone other than me--I have done my best to ignore the tarnish and old, dried, green wax--yes the wax on the candlesticks had been there long enough to no longer be white--it has not been easy to let go of this and wait.
There is not a before photo, and there should not be one as I think God never remembers how we once were. God looks at us as we are each day with love, grace and eternal hope that we will continue to move on to perfection working out our salvation with the power of the Holy Spirit that is within us. I am claiming the beauty of seeing my reflection in the cross and the candlestick holders this past Sunday as the reality of God, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit at work in the body of Christ known as Starrsville UMC and in my life.
Thanks be to God.