Genesis 9:12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations…
What will the future look like? Authors have made money on the myriad possibilities of space travel, technology, world destruction, hover boards and time traveling DeLorean cars, medicine where many of our health problems have been solved…and you know―the places where imagination has no limit. Do you think God has a bigger imagination than all that? That seems to me to be the problem of much of what we do. We confess a powerful God who knows NO bounds and yet worship a god tends to become as small as our imagination. Logic says both cannot be true. How do we see into that “bigger imagination?”
I must admit that most things that offer imagination requires a catalyst. It may be an event or person or problem that makes someone consider it in a whole new way. Many times, it is not so much something that cannot be done but the lack of imagination on how to do it. The limit of our time (and candidly—our inclination) becomes the walls preventing “what to do next.” Consider Faith United. Where do you imagine the church will be next year…or five (5) years from today…or even 10 years from today? While for many of you, that is something that will answer itself; I must admit that I ponder what that future holds. Secondly, are we using our imaginations to engage what God holds in store for that future.
I’ve said I am very troubled about having NO active classes studying scripture apart from Bible and Breakfast. That is not just a summer hiatus issue. There is no apparent intention that I can see for any group to meet and study the Bible. I’ve been offering a brief time before the start of service to look at the day’s lessons. A few people have joined me, but again this suggests it is not the means to have everyone understand how crucial the Bible is to our future. How can we discern God’s will if we are not seeking how the Spirit is working within us and among us?
I know many of you study scripture. I encourage you to continue AND to ask questions that may invite others to look at scripture. There is a different gift that comes from gathering with others to do that study. Questions are asked. Life situations are considered. Our voices witness to the fact scripture has an application in everyday life. We see the Bible speaking into our days. It says that the reign of God is among us AND being revealed in our moments and even our problems. God is not indifferent to our lives.
I anticipate the best approach is a discussion by the congregation on this. The Council can provide leadership many ways, but ultimately ALL OF US choose if this indeed is a priority for our future.
Todd Stewart has helped by adding an electronic outreach through streaming the service live (AND also records and holds the service for a limited viewing time.) For our college students and those traveling, it gives a chance to join worship at another time or another day. It gives a chance to hear the scripture and proclamation…a way to encourage Bible study.
What should we do? I am encouraged that on Sunday, August 6th a number of people took a copy of the Small Catechism. I’m looking to hear from you. What is next? What is our future?
With blessings…Pastor Joe