…about lunch this week. On Tuesday, I went out with a friend of mine who, like me, has started the next step in her ministerial career within the last year. She and I are opposites–she is a pastor’s kid who heard a clear calling to ministry before high school; I was a skeptic and heretic who begrudgingly accepted a call as my college days were ending–but we need to be better friends, and she is far better at making sure it happens than I. Over lunch at Fernando’s, we caught up on the great stories of the past four months (I had a lot) and she said something that gave me pause.
“It’s amazing to think that we’re not the end of the church.”
Every generation thinks that they’re the last one. It’s why doomsday predictions have been made every twenty-five or so years. It’s why folks are willing to accept the Rapture and Second Coming more than global warming or nuclear disarmament. It’s why, maybe, we lose sight of hope in the present because we can’t look at the not-yet. So of course, my brilliant friend, who gets things much sooner than I do, she says over flautas and street tacos, “It’s amazing to think that we’re not the end of the church,” to which I can only respond,
“Yeah, isn’t it incredible that there will be people after us?”
Midway Hills, as of yesterday, I passed my four month anniversary at this church. (It was also my mom’s 59th birthday yesterday, and she says “Hi!” and will visit soon.) I love being here. I love the challenges and the joys, the problems and the solutions. And as much as I love this moment right here, right now, I love what’s going to come, too. I said on December 30th that 2013 was going to be the year of Holy Inconvenience, and I mean it. And I hope you know I meant it. And I hope that you know that I know you know it’s true, and that I’m going to do everything possible to make sure you and I follow through on it, because we’re not it. This is not the end. We are people who believe the great end, death, is really just the prerequisite for eternity. Let’s remember that.
This Sunday, we’ll be looking at the baptism of Jesus. You may be asking yourself, as I have, why Jesus, sinless beautiful Jesus, would need to be baptized. The answer will shock you, I assure you. But, because I am nice, and because this is not it, I’ll give you a hint: everything Jesus does points to resurrection. Everything. And everything Jesus does speaks to our finite and holy humanity, which he came to redeem and bless. Because he knew, he lived, he promised, that we were not the last of it. That this right now is not the end. And that’s pretty dang incredible.
I’ll see you Sunday, and shalom, y’all,