Anniversaries are an important part of life

On this day, 31 years ago, I was ordained into Christian ministry. My family and church family gathered to celebrate. My travels have taken me to serve churches in Texas, Florida, back to Kentucky and finally home in Arizona. My family has changed as well (with the addition of two more kids). How blessed I am to have them continue to be supportive on my journey.
Last week marked Pastor Jim’s fourth ordination anniversary within the UCC – he also has a lifetime of work within the Baptist and Disciple denominations. He, too, has had the support of family and friends along the way.
Anniversaries are an important part of life. They remind us of significant events, both personal and cultural. Whether we’re marking a birthday, a wedding or civil partnership, a graduation, a momentous event, or the death of a loved one, an anniversary puts a pin on the calendar to remind us of something that matters to us. It’s a chance to reflect on a relationship or a cultural identity, to come together to remember a person who’s died, or to celebrate a joyous event.
Whatever the anniversary, it gives us a chance to look back over the years since the event we’re marking and reflect on how it’s shaped us. I have changed a lot these past thirty-one years – I’m more likely to speak my mind, take risks, stand up for causes of justice, and tell a lot more jokes! My hair is much whiter and thinner, my waistline has increased, and my theology has evolved. I am grateful to all of the people who helped shape me on my journey.
Remembering the past (but without letting it rule us) can be an important part of understanding who we are. What are the important anniversaries for you? Why are they significant for you? How have you changed since then?
As we pause to remember those special events in our lives, let us give thanks for the people who have shaped our journeys. I count you among that group – thank you!
Shalom, Paul