Monday, November 5, 2012

Celebrating the Unfolding Mystery

The Scaffold ( is full.  In fact, the whole TrueCity office that houses our collaborative book room is full -- full of happy people.  About fifty souls have ventured out to James Street North, found their way to our front door (no easy task!) and followed the trail of bread crumbs and homemade signs to the office.  Some of them have known each other for years, through seminaries (most frequently, McMaster Divinity College), churches, camps, TrueCity itself, and various other ministries.  Some meet for the first time tonight, only to find they already have several such communities in common.

There's delicious Venezuelan food.  Here's James Wallace, busily taking photos (hopefully coming soon!).  There are people asking me about how we got this whole thing -- the Scaffold itself, as well as tonight's event -- started.  The hubbub and even some of the people have spilled out into the hallway.  And here and there, through the crowd, you can find glimpses of the reason we've gathered.  Dr. Michael Knowles is signing copies of his book, hugging longtime friends, leading toasts, and every now and then, just grinning, quietly and happily overwhelmed, both by the journey involved in finally getting The Unfolding Mystery of the Divine Name: The God of Sinai in Our Midst published, as well as by the sheer number of folks who wanted to come, to celebrate, to bless him -- not least because of how much God has already used him to bless them.

I invite everyone to find seats; there are almost enough.  I explain a little about what the Scaffold is supposed to be, and I tell a quick story, a few jokes and a few details about our speaker.  We welcome him and he tells us about this book's journey.  He reads a page or two from the book.  We ask questions; he tells us what he's learned during the writing of it, and how pivotal it is that we understand and imitate (as best we can!) the character and characteristics of our gracious, compassionate God.  He points to the effects that this theology of encounter has had not just in his own life but in those of his students.  There are nods and perhaps a quiet "amen" or two.

We stack some of the chairs to give ourselves more room to spread out and talk, and the evening begins to wind down.  We've sold about 30 copies of Michael's book.  (He's still grinning.)  We've been blessed and we've been a blessing.  

Finally, the few of us left stack up a few more chairs, clean up, carry books and leftover food back to cars, and close up shop.  It's been a good night.  So we keep the homemade signs.  Hopefully we'll have the chance to use them again soon, to encourage Michael and other local authors who want to get their books into the hands of ministry leaders and friends who can use them.  That's what this place is all about.

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