“My friends, life is short, and there’s little time to gladden the hearts of those who go the journey with us. So be quick to love, and make haste to be kind. And may the blessings of God almighty, father, son, and holy spirit, be with you, and those whom you love, now and forever. And may all God’s people say ‘Amen’.” ~ Rev. Dr. Lee Bowman
I don’t go to church so much since Lee Bowman left to pastor in North Carolina. Still, First Presbyterian in Lexington has the most glorious Lessons and Carols service, and I try to go no matter what. Every time, I marvel at the ceiling as it reaches to the sky, the pipe organ majestically rising behind the choir, and the ostentatious pulpit…well, I try to overlook that and focus on the craftsmanship instead. The wooden cross, its simplicity among the ornate rightfully holds my attention.
It isn’t just the building that holds me, but friends among the choir. Laurel Reid grabbing my hand as she sang her way down the aisle, Allen Smith flashing his sweet smile at me between stanzas: they warmed my heart, and gave me pause to consider the church family rather than lost pastoral messages. This church, more than any other, holds my fascination, and it’s filled with some of the most gentle, compassionate souls I’ve known. Coincidentally, or not, I received a letter from the Rev. Dr. Lee Bowman just this morning: a first. Lee’s benediction, up top, will stay with me all the rest of my days. I find it suitable for any occasion, including Christmas.