Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Giving Ourselves Away

I Was Just Thinking … about CPR. I was a lifeguard for six years and thus re-certified twice. Both times, I learned that cardiopulmonary resuscitation involved chest compressions (15, if I remember correctly; I am no longer certified) and then two rescue breathes. This cycle was continued until emergency personnel arrived, and part of a larger procedure involving checking airways, etc.  CPR was only to be done if the person was not breathing and had no pulse—basically, if the person was just barely dead, CPR could hopefully keep them less dead until trained medical professionals arrived.

They’ve changed the procedure a little bit in the last few years. Rescue breathing is right out, and to get the right pace for chest compressions, the Red Cross has suggested singing “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees as you tend to the victim. It’s a good song choice, definitely—“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen is about the same speed, but the intent might be a bit off. If you do everything you’re supposed to do when performing CPR, there is a chance—not a guarantee—that the person whose life you are guarding will keep it.  Hopefully, they will come back, recover, and resume the life they have and love, much to the acclaim and celebration of loved ones who have a history and purpose with that person. Good job, lifeguard! 

Then there’s Mark 8:35:  “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” Resuscitation is not resurrection, and we are resurrection people.  This Sunday (and for four weeks following), a new sermon series starts called “And You Give Yourself Away.” (You, too, just sang that, I’ll bet.)  Discipleship and stewardship and justice all go together almost synonymously, and we will be looking at how giving oneself away is how we find ourselves in the Reign of God. Not just in time, talent and money, but in our faith, our memories, our communities and our perseverance.  I hope to see you on Sunday. 

ALSO! A few weeks ago I asked the folks present in worship to fill out “Noun Sheets,” where you all listed three people in the church you go to with problems, three places we should be as a congregation that we aren’t right now, and three things Midway Hills should be known for.  I read them immediately, and I have read them often since.  Thank you for taking the time to do that—the results, I assure you, are staggering. They’ll be revealed in the coming weeks as we gather “and you give yourself away.” 

Confidential to Person on Fringe (according to the Green Sheet):  Please give me a call, send me a postcard, drop me a line.  I’d like to talk, if you’re willing. 

Shalom y’all,  Arthur

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