October 20th

Roy’s Ramblings

Webster defines GUSTO: gus·to /ˈɡəstō/noun – enjoyment or vigor in doing something; zeal.”she sang it with gusto”; and this week we find in the reading from Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. I found that very interesting. Why?? You may be asking. Well, for many years I have used a catch phrase in my leading of worship: “Please stand if you are able, and if not, then sit with Gusto. But according to Scripture we should never be lacking in zeal … in gusto.

            Growing up I was a swimmer, I started swimming competitively at age 4 and swam into college and throughout those many years I had an assortment of coaches. One in particular loved to say to us: We practice hard so that the swim meets are easy. So, bringing this into the church, what is practice? How do we practice?

            I feel that practice is all of the stuff we do to better ourselves. Oh it is easy to look at the choir or bells and see how they practice. They have regular rehearsals, go over music, repeat the hard to sing/play parts several times and get better. But, the rest of church practice isn’t as easy to see. We as Christians read our Scriptures alone; we pray alone, we practice many of our Means of Grace … alone. (Now not always but many times). So others don’t see us practicing our faith, they only see us at the “performance”.

            I talked with a shop owner this week, and as I am accustomed to do, invited them to church. Their response was: I’m not good enough to go to church. WHAT??!!?? It was then that I realized that this person only saw the performance of Christians and not the practice. I was quick to tell them that we as church attenders don’t have it all together and that none of us are perfect or even close to perfect.

            So what does all of this have to do with “Gusto”? Well, we should be having fun, we should be enjoying our life, we should be living life with “Zeal” with “Gusto”. All parts of our lives – work, play, school, church, even going to the grocery store can be exciting if you do it with gusto. The sermon this week is titled: Use It Or Lose It. And I’m going to hopefully give it with gusto – and I encourage each of you to practice and perform with the same spirit.

Blessings be upon you … so that you may shower others with Blessings as well – Pastor Roy