Last night at a gathering of the team going to Ethiopia in September, someone asked if the band is playing the epic 90's anthem Return of the Mack on Sunday. It's my first Sunday back after four weeks away in the mountains of North Carolina. That's the subject of this post but I'll reserve a moment for all the Mark Morrison fans out there. If you don't know the song you should be ashamed. 90's music doesn't get the respect it deserves. Who can forget C + C Music Factory, En Vogue, TLC, Boyz II Men, Shaggy, Color Me Badd, and Lauryn Hill? I categorize my memories from high school based on the song that was hot at the time. Before iPods we listened to music on the radio or from a compact disc. CD's were expensive by high school standards, which meant you listened to the same disc for weeks or even months before moving on. I'm not a sucker for nostalgia on most occasions but 90's music tickles my soul.
Return of the Mack recounts unrequited love, which doesn't have anything to do with me coming back to worship on Sunday. The title - which is also the first line of the chorus - is the only relevant line in this instance. And even that is a stretch considering I'm not exactly a "mack". I won't bother trying to explain why as a "mack" defies description; he can only be witnessed and subsequently judged in person.
In short, the band won't be playing it. But I am back in town, well rested, and ready for this fall. I owe a special thanks to Stewart Rawson and Alice Hernandez for their leadership and preaching in July. At one point, Stewart wrote to tell me everything was going well and that the church hadn't burned down. This isn't an extraordinary achievement since we rent space on Sunday. Nevertheless, their efforts went far beyond being a guest preacher and I'm thankful for that.
I'll be blogging more in the coming weeks about my experience of being away from something I love. For now though, I'll see you on Sunday when we'll kick-off a sermon series on The Seven Lively Sins. Since I can't afford to bring back gifts for everyone, consider this blast from the past below as my treat.