I am coming up on the first anniversary of entering Trinity in order to serve as its priest for the first time on a Sunday. Last week was my "office anniversary," but this coming Sunday marks the first time I experienced Trinity, and they me, in worship.
There are a lot of feelings flowing through me as I sit down to write this missive. To say that a lot has happened in the past year would be an understatement. We struggled with leadership turnover, realized that transition doesn't end with a "successful call," not for parish, nor for priest. We spent the first year learning and growing together. That meant conflict, sometimes, and harmony at other times. Both were discoveries that took us deeper into relationship and minsitry in Christ. All of them involved embracing the growing pains of a Church that continues to flourish in transition.
Thing is, I don't believe that seeing transition and change as the "status quo" is a comforting thought for many people. For some, that seems the antithesis of "Church," because "Church" is supposed to be about comfort, or reassurance, or something else that entails being "at peace" or "at rest." Another word might be "stasis." Or, if you will, holding to that old adage: "Stop the world, I want to get off."
I realize that might be a false assumption. If I take seriously Ginny's sermon last week, then I have to assume that God is always calling me into new ways of understanding, perceiving and acting in the Body of Christ. That means we are challenged continually to accept both the Christ who stills and storm and the one who upsets our proverbial apple cart in the Temple as he drives out the money changers (which, by the by, is us for the most part, most days).
That is the struggle of Holy Week. Can we stay with Christ, even as He travels through the darkest hours of his life's ending? Can we remain at the Cross, watching that which must not be happen before our eyes?
Worse, when challenged with new life, a resurrected Christ, are we willing to embrace living into being a new creation with the one who was, and is and is to come?
Not an easy question to ask of individuals. Harder still to pose as a community listening to itself and to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.
So, that, I think, is what this next year will entail for us as we walk together...priest and people. Listening in community to those whispering hints of what might be in Christ. As Trinity. In Solebury. In life.