Monday, July 10, 2017


Have you ever heard of the word "palimpsest"? Don't tell me if you had! I hadn't, but as I was reading this morning it popped up in the following quote from Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans:

"Madeleine L'Engle said, 'the great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.' I think the same is true for churches. Each one stays with us, even after we've left, adding layer after layer to the palimpsest of our faith." 

The great thing about reading books on my kindle (beside the fact that I don't have to find room for the books in my house when I've finished with them) is that you can tap a word and a definition will appear.  
palimpsest - a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain.
Churches - even if we've stayed in the same church all our lives - do that to our faith. They write in the book of faith and then, even as the writing is erased to make room for more, traces remain.  

I remember the Presbyterian Church where I was baptized, and the mark it made on my faith. I remember the Lutheran church I attended with a friend, and the emphasis on memorizing Bible verses in Sunday school. I remember my United Methodist Youth group, and the profound shaping of my faith that happened during high school.

I remember people who were God's grace in my life, helping God as he showered me with sanctifying grace.

I may not be able to read their words, but like a palimpsest, traces remain, and I am grateful for them. 



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