I want to take a minute to thank those who have served on our Trustees over the past few years. A ton of work has been done, and I think should be celebrated. On top of the big projects that have made it possible for us to be back in the sanctuary on Sunday, have a new roof on the education building, e.g., our Trustees also show up on Sunday and unlock the doors, walk around, and make sure everything is ready to receive people every time people come to our church. It is a behind the scenes job sometimes, and one that can get overwhelming as you begin to see the building from a new perspective. All of a sudden, all of the stains on the carpet, the bulbs that are out, and the chips in the wood begin to consume your field of vision.
On Sunday, November 21st, the Trustees had a meeting and walked through the sanctuary as we were getting ready to be back in there on November 28th, this past Sunday. We went in, and there is still a long way to go. We flipped light switches, turned the AC unit off and on, and checked the sound. We talked about what used to be in the room, and how things had changed over the years. But here is what has made our Trustees so impressive to me; they began to vision of what the sanctuary COULD look like.
An overriding conversation among church leaders in reference to the Global COVID-19 Pandemic has been, what is the church going to look like on the other side of this? And there is almost universal consensus that it will be different than it was before. Which doesn’t sound all that revolutionary, but in reality it is hard to wrap our minds around. I think a lot of us, I know I do, want things the way they used to be. I want to go to a restaurant without having that thought in the back of my head. I want to leave the house without reminding my kids to grab a mask. I want to plan things and not think about social distancing.
We want that in the church, too. We want what church used to be, or what we remember it being, but our reality, and I think the reality under which our Trustees have been operating which is so refreshing, is what about what the church COULD be? As tragic as these past 21 months have been for our church, and our world, it would not be wise to think things are just going to snap back to what they have always been. I would argue that this was happening in the general church before the global pandemic with the shifting landscape of the world.
We are going into the Season of Advent. Advent is a lot of things. In the secular world, it is shopping season. In the church, it is a season of getting ready. But in my heart, in this season, it is a season of trying to see the church and the world as God gives us a vision of what it COULD be. Because God saw the world in a great darkness, but always held the creative love up to it, and knew what the world COULD be. And so God sent his son to bring us a great light so that we could see it too.