|Monday October 19, 2020
On Saturday I will be attending, virtually, a conference by Mennonite Church Canada, called ” Does the Church Still Have Legs “. We will have four main speakers, and different workshop sessions. It will be about what the church has to say to the world. It was planned before the pandemic, but I believe that there will be many questions and comments about how the church has changed since the coming of the Virus. The last eight months have been stranger than ever before for this generation of the church.
The biblical text for the day is:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” I Peter 2:9-10
I will take this week to reflect on this passage. In the first sentence there are four definitions of the church for us to consider, ” chosen people, royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a special possession.”. The chosen people come from the Old Testament. God chose the people of Israel to be the people he was going to bring about God’s purposes. They were given the Law and the prophets to lead them. The royal priesthood comes out of the tradition of King David. God told Israel they did not need a King, but God relented, and Saul became their King. The priesthood was made up of Levites, who had the rituals and customs for the people to remember God. A holy nation is about the religious and political wrapped together. And finally, we are special to God; we are God’s people.
Which one of these ideas would you select as the image for Poole ? I am uncomfortable with the images of chosen, royalty and nation. I see them being dangerous in the ways for leadership. The leader, king or president have too much power, and sometimes they use it for their own purposes. One mark of a true leader of Israel was to take care of the widow, the orphan and the stranger. What do you think ?
So, I guess the last one, being possessed by God, is the image of God I would have for Poole. We are being shaped by God. We are being handled compassionately by God. What do you think ? There are many images for the church in the New Testament. But of these four, what does your heart tell you ? Are you fine with being possessed by God ?
Does the church still have legs, in this world ?
Does it still have hands, and eyes, and earsand a voice ?
Be with the conference this Saturday, O God.
Give us new ideas, wisdom and new stronger legs. AMEN