Summer is nearing its
end and we are about
to move towards
autumn. The days are
getting shorter and the
leaves on some trees are beginning to show
signs of green turning to brown. The onward
march of the seasons reminds us that our
journey of faith is always walking us into the
future, and as such it needs to be constantly
adapting to meet the challenges of today while
looking towards tomorrow.
We live, or at least it feels to me, in a society
which is drawn to the nostalgic and which
delights in revisiting bygone eras, there is
something comfortable about revisiting the
past. I notice it more and more as I get older so
maybe it’s part of the ageing process. As a
church we must resist the call of nostalgia and
be prepared to plan out into the future.
How we are to be Christ out in the world, out
in our communities, is a question we need to
be asking with intention. We need a vision and
purpose to help move us fruitfully into the
future, or it is very easy simply to drift, content
with what we are doing but never stopping to
ask how we might reach out more effectively,
identifying new ministers and ministries, letting
go of some of the things of the past, so we can
begin new things in the present as we build
into the future.
With the disciples Jesus was always moving
forward, and he was clear there was no place
for looking backwards. If we are not careful,
faith itself becomes the destination of nostalgia
rather than the vibrant life of God lived in the
present and looking out forwards.
As we move into a new season it is time to ask
how we can best minister into the future. How
can we invest in the young families that are
part of our church today; how can we resource
our ministry to them more effectively, and how
can we adapt what we do to make space for
new members while continuing to value all?
How can we support those whose fragility
might make it more difficult for them to be as
involved as they have been in the past? These
are big questions to ask and we will need focus
and courage to ask them with honesty.
The firm foundations and vision of the past
have brought us to where we are today, but
now it is time, in the present, in the shadow of
the pandemic, to review, refocus and refine the
ministry we all share together in making Christ
known for the world. Please hold these
thoughts in prayer as we seek to move afresh
into the slip stream of the Holy Spirit and focus
afresh on what it means to be the Church
Lord of Lord, King of Kings, Father of us all,
we worship and adore you.
Your glory lights our path; your gentle
understanding guides our faltering steps.
We thank you, Lord and Father, for your great
example, compassion, and understanding.