All are invited as we Make Room this Advent season.
Yesterday following worship, our congregation gathered to make some important decisions about our future. On the surface, the questions before us were simple and straightforward- do we dedicate a portion of our resources for the sake of serving our neighbors? But it’s also true that these decisions would define the shape and nature of this community of faith that we will experience together in the years to come.
For some, the work of the Campus Planning Task Force suggested an exciting opportunity. For others, these decisions represented an unsettling call into the unknown and a whole lot of disorienting ambiguity. Who are we that we should be the ones to step boldly into the unknown and in this way? This is a totally reasonable doubt to carry. Even Moses first said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
But God is consistent in God’s vision for the world. And God’s desire is for our full participation in making this vision a reality. Because God knows that this isn’t just for the sake of our neighbor, just as Moses’ charge isn’t just for the sake of the Israelites. Moses’ own freedom is tied to the freedom of the Israelites, just as this church’s future is tied to the future of our neighbors and the community we will build together.
Moses asks, “who am I?” Just as we ask, “who are we?” So, God says to Moses (and to us), “I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt (when you have eased their suffering and delivered freedom), you will have served God on this mountain.” (Ex 3:12)
Who are we? We can be confident in our response that we are a people for whom God has promised to remain close at hand. And now that the congregation has voted to work closely in support of our neighbors experiencing chronic homelessness and housing instability, and as we endeavor to ease suffering and deliver freedom, we can trust that we are making real God’s vision for this church and for the world.
Who are we? We are God’s. Exactly, whom God has called us to be.
May God’s peace find you today. -Pastor Peter
Let us pray… God, the one who will be, come to us as you have promised. May your presence bring strength, courage, and insight as we seek to bring your love into the world. As we have found our home in you, help us to create the same for our neighbors, especially those who have been without for far too long. May all your children come to know who we are… yours. Amen.
One week ago today, I was sitting in a chalet, perched at the 11,000’ summit of one of the peaks in Wyoming’s Teton mountain range. As I was listening to two other church leaders explore ideas of leadership in the future church, I experienced a real “aha! moment.” As they were discussing the effects of the uncertainty during the pandemic and the continuing ambiguity we’re experiencing, I recognized a resonating strain of this same reality for the church I am called to serve.
A congregation never stops wrestling with the question, “What must we hold on to and what needs to be changed.” As citizens we have many opportunities to vote, as we also have decisions to make as church members.
When I hear the word wrestle, I think of the sport of wrestling. Webster’s definition for a wrestling match is when the opponents struggle hand to hand to throw each other to the ground without striking blows. Another definition in the dictionary is: a struggle or fight with; a contest.
Jacob’s grandfather was Abraham who married Sara and they received a huge promise from God to have many descendants. Jacob was their grandson, son of Isaac and Rebekah who had twins, Esau and Jacob. Jacob was afraid of his elder brother Esau and cheated him into giving up his inheritance as the elder twin and then gained his father’s blessing by pretending to be Esau.