The past month has been a tumultuous time at church. I realize I’m putting that mildly for some and that perhaps for others there hasn’t been a sense of turbulence. With that as the backdrop, I had a moment of deep reverberation with the message that popped into my inbox earlier this week from the monks at the Society of Saint John the Evangelist.
As I’ve written about before I subscribe to their daily email, “Brother Give Us a Word,” which for a majority of the year focuses on one word and puts that word into biblical and theological importance. Sometimes the word and associated message is challenging. Sometimes the word of the day is more light-hearted, but almost always the two-to-three-sentence message gives me something to chew on for the rest of my day.
For Lent, the brothers have prepared a series of daily videos and an accompanying workbook that are designed to help examine our lives and, as they put it, “Grow a Rule of Life.” The video that struck a chord in me, and that I think is applicable to our community at St. Alban’s right now, has to do with what happens when we find ourselves on a different path than we had planned or imagined. Brother Jim Woodrum talks about our response to God when we realize we are either on a different path or in a different place than where we would like, envisioned, or imagined we would be.
What do we imagine God has in store for us? How will we continue to be God’s people as we work and wait for God’s plan to unfold? Will we find ways to come together as the body of Christ? Will we find ways to push our agenda? My hope is that we will wait, watch and pray with a sense of hope-filled expectation…not sweeping things under the carpet and blindly moving forward, but also not further dividing ourselves in the name of our own self-righteous quests.
Perhaps these are hard words. But perhaps we are in a season of self-examination and preparation where now is exactly the time for us to hear those hard words. Perhaps now is exactly the time for us to do the work that God has given us to do and to grow more fully as St. Alban’s Church…more fully as the body of Christ…more fully as the agents of God’s kingdom here in this place, now on a different path that perhaps we thought or imagined we would be.