Dear Cathedral Family,
You may have seen a mug or t-shirt printed with the saying, “Not all who wander are lost.” Like most such messages, it has a larger and deeper meaning than its use as a slogan conveys. The original context is in the first verse of a riddle-poem that appears in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring:
All that is gold does not glitter;
Not all who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither.
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
The bigger picture shows that things of true and lasting value do not disappear; they come back. The gospel reading for this Sunday contains what we usually call “the parable of the lost sheep,” about one sheep from among a flock of one hundred who wanders away. The shepherd leaves the others, searches diligently and finds the wandering sheep, and then returns rejoicing over that one. The message is plain: God loves and cares for each one of us and will never lose us, no matter where, why, or how we wander off.
This Sunday will be a celebration of our coming back together to enjoy more fully our shared life as the Cathedral Family in the new program year. We will dedicate and unveil our newly refurbished Sunday School rooms. There will be opportunities to sign up for ministries. There will be Christ Church Cathedral t-shirts and caps for sale. Mostly, there will be joy—in worship, music, gathering at the Lord’s Table, and in time together.
If you have been away—for the summer or longer—please know that we miss you and that seeing you here among us all again would be a great joy, no questions asked. The only difference between that one sheep and all the others was that he wandered off. His return was reason enough for a party.