But this is a holy night as we look forward to an uncertain but hopeful future. What gives me hope – in spite of the fact that I serve the institutional church in a post-denominational context, that I try to live as a Jesus-follower in a post-Christian culture, that I grieve being American in one of the most fractured periods of our nation’s history? Several things.
Points of Hope on this last day in The Year of our LORD 2014:
- FBC is marrying our beloved SK in August which will unite families from Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Canada, Texas, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The gathered mass will include Christians, Jews, Muslims, at least one Buddhist, Agnostics, and Atheists. There was a time when somebody would have been burned at the stake or stoned to death for this. But we will be celebrating with people who are Different – as family.
- Churches in our presbytery and denomination will close. This will be good because it means that those congregations are making faithful choices in light of changing demographics and culture. And the funds that have perpetuated those congregations can be directed towards something new that makes God happy.
- People will fall in love with other people they have not yet met. This is always fun to consider.
- People will retire who need to retire. Far from meaning that they are washed-up, unnecessary, or irrelevant, they will begin new chapters of their lives, and the organizations from which they retire can make healthy changes.
- Scientific, medical, technological, and spiritual breakthroughs will happen. Makes me giddy.
- God will continue to speak and act. This is the best news ever.
We have many choices tonight that will impact our tomorrow. We can start the new year with a hangover/cranky attitude/wringing hands. Or we can prepare to listen to the positive voices around and within us reminding us that we were created for something bigger than ourselves.
Happy New Year everybody.
Image of the Chicago skyline.