Pastor's Message
Ramapo Reformed Church
100 Island Road
Mahwah, NJ. 07430
                    Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
              let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
                            will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 (NRSV)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                                                Summer,

When I was on the way home from my continuing education conference in May, I flew out of the Minneapolis airport
located south of town.  Getting to the airport was fairly smooth, taking one bus and one light rail connection to get
there.  Getting through security, however, was a different matter.  After I discovered that I could not fly standby on an
earlier flight, I went in search of the TSA line.  It turns out there were two, labeled North and South respectively.  As I
walked towards the North line, I came across a group of people gathered a distance from the security station and
realized this was only the middle of the line which actually began much further back.  As I entered, I wondered if the
wait for South was any better?  Deciding it could not be worse, I went to give it a try.  It turns out it was!  Since I had
already given up my spot in the other line, I figured there was no point in bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball,
so I stayed.  I was glad I didn’t get an earlier flight because the wait in line looked brutal.  Happily, the time seemed to
pass quickly because I struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger who was in town for a nursing conference. I
shared about my conference, the Festival of Homiletics, and I learned more about hers.

Jim Crouse, who authors a newsletter for pastors with interesting trivia, writes that airports purposely have fewer
security lines.  This is because more choices cause anxiety, with people wondering if another is moving faster.  I know
that I find myself wondering whether I am in the right line at the grocery store, the toll booth, the ball park, and
especially in traffic.  If another line is moving quicker, it makes me feel envious and anxious both at the same time.

We now find ourselves at the threshold of summer, looking forward to a season that traditionally is for vacations and a
slower pace.  Nevertheless, we will still find ourselves in lines for ice cream, sporting events, and vacation traffic.  My
hope is that we can use this time to reflect and gain a fresh perspective on the Apostle Paul’s urging the Philippian
church not to be anxious.  After all, within the sphere of God’s grace, there is to be no worry.  Even though our human
nature is always seeking out the shorter line to get ahead, our faith tells us that we, in effect, get to “cut the line” and
receive God’s love and mercy without having to strive or wait for it.  We may never conquer our drive to get ahead, yet
we know that God not only loves us for who we are today, but also for who we will be in the kingdom to come.  
Maybe this can help us while we wait in the lines of summer, especially when it is for ice cream.

As a result, may these ongoing weeks of summer be blessed and fruitful for each one of us.  When you are in the area,
please join us for worship on Sunday, for a time of fellowship at the informal Backyard Barbeques at the manse, or for
a fun time at our Ice Cream Socials. You can always check out details on our website at www.ramaporeformedchurch.
org, and may the peace of Christ, which passes all understanding, dwell richly in your hearts.


Pastor Bill