This Sunday at BLC
Sunday, July 23, 2017 – Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only creation, but we ourselves …”
~ Romans 8.22-23
In the week before I started my new call as co-pastor of BLC, I sat on my porch one morning and drew out a vision of what I wanted/intended my start-up at BLC to look like. For example, every day would begin with spiritual reflection and prayer. Every week would include time for one-on-one conversations with members of BLC and the Fairport community. As of today, I can say without reservation that that the gap between the vision of how I would spend my days and the reality of how I’ve spent my days is wide. Surprise! Surprise!
It’s in that gap between vision and reality that I hear the groans inside of me. Some days they take the form of the rationale that I provide myself for why my start-up isn’t matching my vision. Other days the groans take the form of the pit in my stomach that suggests that I bit off more than I could chew. Hear me clearly, I LOVE this new call. I’m having a lot of fun in this start-up phase. That doesn’t change the fact that vision and reality are separated by a chasm in need of bridging.
It’s tempting when we notice the groaning within us or around us to focus on making the groans go away, but what if the groans serve a different purpose. What if the groans are intended to remind us of the gaps that exist in our own lives between God’s intent for us and where we actually are? If that’s the purpose that groaning serves, maybe we should pay more attention to the groans rather than wish them away. The apostle Paul tells us that hope is not seen, but maybe it can be heard. If so, I suspect hope sounds a lot like groaning.
Have there been times in your own life or in our congregation’s life when you’ve heard groaning? If so, maybe God is calling you to lean in, pay attention, and discern. Pastor Hoffman and I are available to listen with you to the groaning and discern with you where the Spirit is calling.
~ Pastor Amy