Pastor’s Blog – March 27

     I love the Count. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t like TO count. I like THE Count von Count of Sesame Street fame. The Count is into numbers. Counting numbers brings him joy: “Ahh, ahh, ahh!”
     So, if the Count were to name his favorite passage of Scripture, my hunch is that Numbers twenty-six would top the list. The entire chapter is devoted to the second census taken during Israel’s forty-year journey through the wilderness. (Ironically, the word number in Hebrew means census.)
     However, unlike the U.S. census, which largely focuses on the many demographic categories represented in our country, the Israelite census concentrates on names. More than fifty clans are named, which constituted a total of some 601,000 men (sorry ladies, this census was a men’s club only).
     Personally, I am a left brained person, so I remember phone numbers better than I do names. I sometimes have trouble recalling the names of my children. They tease me for forgetting until I remind them that their mother and I hold the purse strings to their inheritance.
     Frankly, I am anxious about returning to in person activities. I am now drawing a blank when I see a familiar face. Months of quarantine have erased my memory of people I know quite well.
     I ran into a member of the church recently at the grocery store. This person greeted me with a holler: “Hey, Pastor!” I was comforted by the notion they apparently didn’t know my name either.
     The concluding months of the pandemic will be a challenge for many of us. Getting reacquainted with one another may present some awkward moments. Although our fuzzy memory may not be a bad thing after all. If I cannot remember your name, perhaps I also can forget the grudge or negative perception I once held against you.
We tend to remember people as we once knew them. We fail to realize that people do change. They likely are not the same person they used to be.
     Frankly, the process of coming back together will offer a new beginning for many of us. We may get to know each other on a deeper and less idealistic level. Who knows, new friendships may develop.
     So, the next time you see me, I hope you won’t be offended if I forget your name. Yet please know that I will treasure our reacquaintance. You can count on it. “Ahh, ahh, ahh!”
Pastor D