On Sunday some folks from my meeting are gathering to talk about whatís happening at Newberg Friends and where we feel God leading us next. Questions weíre supposed to give thought to before hand:
- Where do you see the world being turned upside-down?
- Where do you see Christ bustiní out of Newberg Friends?
At the Board of Evangelism Fall Retreat the folks in charge of New Words posed those questions to the board in an attempt to shake our vision from off of ourselves and onto Godís movement. The questions were followed up by this – ìand how can we participate in what Godís already doing? How can we grab onto his coattails?î The board meeting nodded in agreement, recognizing that those were quality questions . . . and then headed back to business as usual.
But tomorrow folks will gather with the intention of not only talking about, but also encountering Christ. Iíve heard so many folks verbalize the recognition that thereís this restless, unsettled feeling going on. Iím reminded of having my son, entering that period of transition labor where *every single fiber* of my being screamed out: ìThis does not feel good. Something is WRONG! Iíd like to stop, pleaseandthankyou.î I actually said that to my doctor, and she laughed sympathetically and said Iíd kinda committed to seeing this to the end. I whimpered in recognition.
Now that I know my son, labor might not seem quite so horrible – I know what the end result would be: the blessings and growth it would bring into my life. But when I didnít really know whatís going to happen (I mean, I knew a baby was coming – Iím not that dumb. But I didnít know what the experience of motherhood would be like), it makes it hard to push through the nasty yuck.
When the labor pains started, did I try and make them stop? Did I see it as a problem to be fixed? No: after reading a bajillion books and going to a labor class and talking with my doctor, I recognized that it meant I needed to hightail it to the hospital because something new was coming into the world! It was a sign that I needed to find my doctor and a bed and maybe some drugs. When Iím feeling yucky and restless about church life, I donít think finding a band-aid is going to cut it (it certainly wouldnít in the labor room): it means that I need to find God through meditation and community and Scripture – to talk about and encounter God, saying, ìYou rang? Somethingís up?î Itís hard not knowing what the ìfruits of laborî is going to look like during this questioning time. But I can look to the past and see where Godís met me, and I can rest in that faith.
So, where do you see God turning the world upside down? Where do you see Christ bustiní out of your worship gathering? And how have you become part of what Godís already doing?