Monday, 20 April 2009

Moving from the mountain

I was reading Deuteronomy 1:3-18 this morning and one verse in particular stood out "You have stayed long enough on this mountain" (v6).

Movement is one of the signs of life - our instinct so often is to seek to settle down, to stay in one place - but the Lord kept calling the people on. There was more to come - something to aim for, to move towards... the place of promise. I had the distinct impression that the Lord was nudging me to continue the movement into his purposes for St Mary's. One of the main pictures we have worked with as a church over the last 16 months or so has been that of the pillar of cloud/fire leading the people on.... they stopped when it stopped and moved when it moved - a marvellous picture of revelation and response.... God moves... I move.... God stops.... I stop. In the coming months we will have to finalise a decision to move in the direction of becoming a network church - a network of communities with their unique mission and ways of functioning. This will mean deciding what not to do, and what to do more of. It will mean deciding to move from the 'mountain' of Anglican parish ministry that we presently occupy and for a time has been the right place to be and instead move into the unknown of being an Anglican new church of communities springing up wherever God appoints... a distant dream maybe... but possible under God.

I followed up by reading John 20:1-10 and found myself thinking that v8-9 suggests that full understanding doesn't always accompany belief - the 'other disciple' (John?) we are told "saw and believed" but then it says they didn't fully understand. This will be the case for us. Continually. As we head towards our vision of releasing communities of disciples to live the mission of Jesus we will find that belief isn't always accompanied immediately by understanding. If we always look for understanding first then we will be disappointed... if we trust that understanding will come as we do what we believe then there will be joy and quite an adventure.

So we must see... (which may involve looking into a grave - looking death in the face?), we must believe (assent to/agree with/do what we see) and then we will understand.

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