Sunday, November 1, 2009

Meanwhile, back at Central ...

Last night at Alpha was a great reminder for me. We had a young couple come through the church and I had a chance to start a conversation with them. Turns out they'd been sleeping in their car the last several nights, and had no place warm to stay until Monday. They also hadn't eaten in a long while. Our Alpha leaders got them some food, then a couple of them took the two to a local hotel and got them settled in for a couple nights in a warm place. When it was all said and done, I couldn't quit grinning. Partly that was because I just enjoyed getting to know this delightful young couple. But something bigger -- deep down I was thinking, "Oh yeah! This is what we're supposed to be doing!" We have been so consumed by all the discussions about sexuality and scriptural authority. It was a nice relief to think, "I was hungry and you fed me."

Today there was a forum -- the final of four forums -- at Central regarding next Sunday's decision about terminating Central's relationship with the ELCA. These forums have been a good experience for us as a congregation. Difficult, to be sure, but I think about all the people who have gotten up to the microphones and taken three minutes to tell some facet of their own faith story -- testimony, struggle, conviction, or question. You can't spend that knee-shaking time at the microphone and then sit down the same person you were when you stood up. I guarantee you that whatever happens next Sunday, those who have shared in this process will have a new depth of faith and a new ability to put themselves on the line.

Some may choose to give in to bitterness and regret, but for those who are paying attention I'm convinced that Jesus will lead them into a greater future.

Do I have fears about this vote? Of course I do. But I'm convinced that God has been working in this process so far, and I don't think he'll forget us now. This whole year -- and certainly since early September -- I have been learning again and again that when I am at a loss or caught in fearful circumstances, God can do his best work. I don't think it will be any different this time. I just want to make sure -- especially this week -- that I am listening to his Spirit, staying in his Word, and doing my level best to be faithful. He'll take care of the rest.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I am so inspired by the kindnessed displayed by the Alpha members. What a testamony; no doubt put a smile on Jesus' face. Thanks again for writing.