Friday, June 5, 2015
Since we arrived in Iowa, Mary and I have been captivated by the skies. Mary is known to jump up from the supper table when the sun begins to set to take a picture of the western skies. The Iowa skies have given me a new appreciation for the landscape of the open places. It’s helpful from time to time to look up to gain perspective and a sense of proportion. The skies are alive with movement, dimension and great variety. It makes me want to learn the names of all the cloud formations again to better appreciate what I am seeing.
The community of faith is a dynamic thing. As we worship and share in ministry we can feel its movement and energy. If we are receptive we can see something greater than us at work, a depth of relationships and an excitement about a shared future. We may hold particular expectations of the church and at times feel disappointed when they are not adequately met. Our point of reference may primarily be the past, the familiar and the comfortable.
But the very nature of faith gets us paying attention to things we otherwise might pass by. We get to look beyond ourselves. Congregational life is a place of discovery and even adventure that is hope filled. Our point of reference leans toward what is yet to be, trusting that God is working through us in ways that may even surprise us (My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who keep watch in the morning.)
Early on in his ministry Jesus came back home and he was met by confusion by those who thought they knew him. His actions of ministry did not fit into their set ideas and religious notions. They found it hard to measure a ministry that was so relational - bringing people together for healing and wholeness at every opportunity.
It was a challenge to understand that to follow Jesus meant living into new ways of being present for others. By sharing in the very mission of Jesus was to shape new connections characterized by gratitude and generosity of spirit. This remains surprising all together and a clear reminder that the Spirit is still very much at work in our hearts and in the world (…for with the Lord, there is steadfast love.)