First of all I wish I'd remembered it was Scout Sunday, because as an Eagle Scout I would have worn my uniform.
Well, I'm Sean and I'm new in town. My least favorite part about being new is the dreaded question: Where's home? Where are you from? Because honestly in my 26 years I have not come up with a good answer to that question. My Dad was in the Navy so growing up, every two years, we would move to a different town. So where is home? Is it Norfolk, Virginia or Alameda, California or Buenos Aries, Argentina or Bremerton, Washington? Or any of the handful of other places that I grew up? When you move so often, it's tough to find a place to set down roots so you can actually call it home.
My religious upbringing was a little catty-wompus, too. Wherever we were we would go to somewhere that was -- we were always Christian -- but we might be going to a Catholic church or a Methodist church...in fact I was baptized Catholic, we were Methodist in there for a little while, and then I was confirmed Lutheran. Which means, I guess, if this was the 1950's my mom might have forbidden me to associate with myself (laughter). Tell that joke at Salt House and no one would get it.
As I've gotten older I have come to understand God and Jesus in a new way, which is mostly to say that I don't understand much of anything. And so I've looked pretty hard for a good church community, a place to call home. And after going to a dozen or more different churches, it's tough to find a place where I feel comfortable. Because, when I walk into a room filled with excellent people who are filled with the Spirit and you make that spiritual connection, that's great...but it's tough when they are all in a different stage of life than you are. You can't make those personal connections that make you feel like you want to come back. And it makes it so easy on Sunday to say, "well, you know, I think I'm just going to stay home today."
When I moved to Seattle just about two month ago I was invited to the Christmas Eve service here by someone who recommended it, and sitting in that seat I found out that this church is brave and bold enough to try something new. Try some sort of outreach program, Salt House, for people like me -- People in their 20's and 30's who have questions, they're curious about life and what it means to be an adult. And if there's maybe a different word than "adult" we can use 'cause I don't think I want to call myself an adult quite yet. I'll get there. Questions about what it means to be Christian and what it means to apply our Christianity in the world to make it a better place, be a force for change, which I truly believe is what Christ calls us to do.
And so I can say with some comfort that finally at Salt House, in the month or so that I've been involved yet, I think I'm finally finding that home I've been looking for for 26 years. And so I'll close with one of my favorite Bible verses. Growing up, Joshua was my favorite Biblical character and at the end of the book of Joshua, he's the King of Israel and he's called all of his people together and he's giving them this nice long speech. He concludes it by saying, "Look y'all, you can worship whoever..." Joshua is Texan in my mind, I don't know why... "you can worship your idols and your false Gods, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." We can turn that verse into something great for Salt House. In this new world, this modern world with all its new false Gods and new idols and new temptations and new distractions, we at Salt House, we will serve the Lord.