to-do-list-or-not-to-do-lis-1489538-1600x1200I love to-do lists. Preferably ones with little boxes next to each item so I can CHECK them off. Check. Check. Check. Sometimes I write things I’ve already done on my list just for the satisfaction of checking them off.

As we begin what promises to be a full year with many checklists on the horizon, I thought I would share a theoretical-but-not-too-far-from-true to-do list for my pastoral week:

  • Exegete John 1:29-42; write something about it that is spiritually insightful, intellectually provocative, and emotionally compelling—and make sure it comes in at under fifteen minutes.
  • Get a new wine stopper. I guess one without cork on the bottom since the wine bottled chewed the cork on the old wine stopper in half.
  • Wonder if a new wine stopper is like new wineskins, and, if so, should I also buy new wine?
  • Call back the lady who left a message on the church phone about wanting me to lead a Bible study. Find out who she is and where the Bible study will be and can we study lectionary texts because, if so, I’m in.
  • Smash the patriarchy.
  • Post on social media about WHAT IS GOING ON WITH SHERLOCK?!!
  • Due to no-longer ignorable cold symptoms, get some herbal tea, vitamin C, a neti pot . . . and NyQuil.
  • Leave the cabinet doors under the sink in the church kitchen open because it’s supposed to freeze.
  • Take my daughter to the eye doctor.
  • Be a prophetic voice for immigrants.
  • Be grumpy that “Lamb of God” is the name of a band because that makes it IMPOSSIBLE for me to find the hymn I want on YouTube so how am I supposed to know if it’s a hymn I want to sing on Sunday or not? (Email church musicians.)
  • Buy eggs. (How are we out of eggs again?! Buy chickens?)
  • Empty the church dishwasher so I can load the dishes from the sink because the neighborhood association is meeting at the church and might want to use the sink. (While I unload the dishwasher, remind myself that all of my church people who are now headed home after the potluck and meeting are A) doing their part for the work of the church in other ways and B) not getting paid to hang around on a Sunday afternoon putting away dishes.)
  • Erase racism.
  • Set the house thermostat one degree warmer and hope my husband doesn’t notice. Send thermostat guilt money to the Sierra Club.
  • Sign letters to county officials urging them to spend money on alternatives to incarceration rather than building a bigger jail. Use “Rev.” when I sign my name.
  • Don’t forget about that insightful, compelling, provocative John 1 thing.

Joanna Harader serves as pastor at Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, KS, and blogs at Spacious Faith.

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