PJ’s Page –

January 2018 Messenger

January 2018 Messenger

January is a time when our thoughts turn to new things:  new resolutions, new schedules, new hopes for the new year.  Gym memberships skyrocket with those whose resolutions involve a new healthier body.

We only have to glance around us at Luther Memorial to see signs of new things:  new construction to provide new homes; a new look in the sanctuary as we allow the space to help us tell the story of God with us.  There are new ways of getting into and out of the building and new partnerships forming with our community.  There is a (relatively) new worship time (10:30 on Sundays.)

I want to acknowledge the grace, care, and flexibility this congregation has shown in the midst of all of this “new-ness.”  It is not easy to navigate this amount of change.  It takes, ultimately, understanding the purpose behind the change and a strong sense of trust in the process.  In our case, we know that affordable housing, flexible worship space, and a deepened presence in the community are the anticipated outcomes in all of this “new-ness.”

Not to delve too deeply into hyperbole, but the word “chaos” has been tossed around a time or two already, in good natured ways.  In Scripture, God creates out of chaos.  The very first verses of Genesis tell this story, of God making order out of what is out of control, disorderly chaos.

Most of you will not be surprised to hear me say that I am wired as a person who longs for order.  I am a list maker, a planner, and one who likes to see things through to a logical and complete conclusion.  And yet, here I am, called by God into the messiness of ministry, where it is impossible to predict and schedule and plan with any certainty.  Mission, like Creation, comes to life in chaos.

In these days, new life springs forth in a multitude of ways in our midst, let’s use the Creation chaos as a guide.  God is doing a new thing among us…creating something wondrous and faithful.  We do not see the ending, just yet, but we hear the call and follow.  We trust that in these new things the grace and mercy of God will shine like the light of this Epiphany season, full of grace and truth.

Blessings for 2018,

Pastor Julie+