Last week, we stayed outside the Grand Teton National Park near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yellowstone was a few hours away, so we decided to take the bus tour to see Old Faithful. I was there when I was 13 years old and the memory I still carry is the smell of sulfur. Fortunately, I have better memories now. We arrived just minutes before she blew. Old Faithful is not the biggest or the most regular of the geysers. It is easy to get to and basically consistent. She sprays every 90 minutes. Well, actually, she does that most of time. When you arrive, they come clean with the details. It can vary from 51-120 minutes. When you call the park, they give you a time and tell you it will probably be 10 minutes before or after that time, sometimes early and other times late. The eruption of boiling water can last anywhere from 1 ½ to 5 minutes. Her spray varies, too (106 to 184 feet). It was early settlers who named her Old Faithful. On the bus ride back, I couldn’t help but think about faithfulness. The dictionary defines faithful as “worthy of trust” or “loyal”. The Bible is filled with disciples, kings, prophets, and ordinary people who were faithful. Not perfect. Consistent, most of the time. Performed well, on average. God calls us to be faithful, so “Old Faithful” might not be a bad name for a Christian.
On Sunday, we celebrated World Communion Sunday with a missions theme. The little flags from many nations flew across the front of the communion table. The message started with the question Jesus asked: “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) The Apostle Paul asks about people who have never heard the gospel in Romans 10:13-15. How will they hear without a proclaimer and who will send one so they can hear? Each generation is responsible for carrying on the message. Either we go to the world or we help send those who go. We must “hold the rope”, as missionary William Carey once said. The children sang for the first time this fall in worship, as well. Then Sunday night, three of our church choirs and friends gathered for a benefit concert for the food pantry at Blessed Sacrament. You had to be there.