A grin came across my face a few months ago when I found this stamp in a long-forgotten drawer here at the church. The well used stamp simply said, in bold letters, “WE MISSED YOU SUNDAY.” I tried to imagine how this stamp was lovingly used. I can only imagine that it was created with the best intentions – to remind people that they were missed. Maybe cards were sent out monthly and this stamp was punched square in the middle of it. I don’t know.
But the medium is so very ironic. Instead of a handwritten note, a phone call, or better yet, a personal visit, this stamp was created to save time and effort. We want to show we care, but clearly not much more than what a stamp will do.
As many mainline churches across Canada shrink in size and cut back on outreach, we may be tempted to pull out The Stamp again. Please don’t. Let’s rediscover those deep relationships and rebuild the church in the context of community once again.
Today this stamp sits on my shelf as a daily reminder. Terse emails, quick phone calls, and too many missed opportunities; these are my own sins – Kýrie, eléison.