A Pastor's Ponderings
Rev. Debra L. Thomas
Not a Penguin
Not a penguin. . .
When I think of the word “opus” two things come to mind. The first is Opus, the philosopher penguin, created by Berkeley Breathed in his 1980’s comic strip “Bloom County.” The second is from the title of a 1990’s movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” In the movie, the titular opus is the lifelong work of a music teacher. Although his dream was to write a symphony that he hoped would be his lasting legacy, it turned out that his true legacy was how he touched the lives of his many students over the years.
After seeing the movie with a friend so long ago, she said something as we were leaving the theater that I will never forget. It was both profound and comical as she said, “Someday, Deb, you need to write an opus.” Her suggestion made me laugh in the same way as I often chuckled at a funny, yet wise penguin in a comic strip. I laughed because I had no idea what kind of an opus I might have to share with anyone. An opus is literally a person’s body of work. As it turned out, my friend was a bit prophetic. Just a few years later I graduated from seminary and was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and my opus of writing began. Sermons, children’s messages, newsletter articles, prayers, educational essays and more became part of my daily life and constant work.
Now that I am unofficially retired from my work as a pastor, it’s time. The words I have to share on this website, through blogs, sermons, and worship ideas may not make for a lasting legacy or even be as wise as a fictional penguin, but they are my continuing opus. My writing is a lifelong work that is part philosophy, theology, Scripture and observation as I continue to relate all of these to my current thoughts about faith and life. I realize that what I have to say may not change the world, but if anything I have to say makes a difference, helps or inspires, causes anyone to think and reflect, find meaning or draw closer to God, then perhaps the world might be a little better place for someone. This is my hope. This is my opus.