Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Transforming the world

Isaiah 43:18-19
Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

How can we embrace, today, the notion that God wants to do a new thing in the world? We, who sense God's calling to go in a new direction, to venture on paths whose terrain is unfamiliar and which lead to God knows where?
How can we who are often trained or have become ingrained in "doing the church thing", learn new ways, wrestle with new questions, explore different connections and keep on listening to God and to those around us, the communities in which we are called, along with our neighbour, to be church?
How can we risk letting go of what we know and step out empty handed along a way we have nor determined, mapped out or set?
We, who are trained and equipped to preach, to teach, to answer questions, to be the keepers of the faith, how can we journey with the stranger and, together, grapple with what it means to be a follower of Jesus today?
We, who know how to set (and to protect or fence) the table are called to throw caution to the winds and sit at table with those who haven't learned table etiquette.
Walking in that unfamiliar landscape requires humility, demands listening to and learning from others, it involves letting go of things long cherished and of holding lightly the new things that we learn in the knowledge that the God of every journey is working a transformation in us for the sake of the world.
And to do all this, not from a place of scarcity or fear of decline and loss but from a conviction of the sufficiency - even abundance - of God's grace!
The good news is that the Spirit of God is already ahead of us, transforming the world, transforming our communities, ready to surprise us in our transformation.
This new thing is not for those who prefer good order, clean lines and clear definitions.
To get caught up in the new thing that God is doing is like opening a sparkly Christmas card, covered in glitter - you can be sure that, long after, you'll be finding glitter in places you never expected - and certainly in places you didn't want it to be.
God is doing a new thing - reshaping and recreating the body of Christ in the world. Dare we dive in and be a part of that?

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