Grace and Peace to you …
I have been spending quite a bit of time in the District Six museum over the last couple of weeks. I know that the museum holds stories that connect to this congregation’s roots and so I have been visiting the museum to learn as much as I can. I find it to be a place that stills me in my spirit, but I always find strength and light there as well. I like that I can hear the pitter patter of children’s feet on the ceiling up above and I like knowing those children are learning to live life together honouring all others no matter what might seek to divide them. I find myself rising in my own spirit when I stand in front of the sculpture of the street signs rising up from the ground. The visits have caused me to question what it means to be Christian community in a time when people still are hesitant to trust.
This question also arose during the re-reading of a gem of a book by Rowan Williams called, Tokens of Trust. Essentially he shares that people out in the world have wrestled with their ability to place trust in institutions. Institutions have a tendency to let us down. Whether it is the institution of education, medicine, or what some call the institution of the Church, people struggle to reach their lives out in trust.
Christian community in particular is grown out of a deep trust in God and the people who circle around that truth are then called to be like Rowan Williams put forth, “Tokens of Trust”. We walk together in the moments when “Alleluia” can be shouted from the mountaintop, we walk together when the challenging valleys appear where no end seems to be in sight, and we walk together in all the spaces we find ourselves in between. The way in which we walk with each other and with God is our shared story, our testimony, or song to a world in search of a place to put their trust. The love and forgiveness we are called to live with is a sign and symbol of the greater love of God.
I believe God is always trying to sing a new song through us. What song is the Holy Spirit singing through the stories of those who have been the anchors for the community in this place? What song is God singing through the people who wander in the doors of this place looking for a moment or two of sanctuary? What song is God singing about through the people who come through the doors looking for a community to place their trust? What is the new song God is calling out to each of us? I am enjoying hearing the stories of those who call this place home. You are a beautiful people, with a rich history, and I look forward to witnessing all God will do with the new song rising within each of us.
With you on the journey, Michelle
“I want to be outside with the misfits, with the rebels, the dreamers, second-chance givers, the radical grace lavishers, the ones with arms wide open, the courageously vulnerable, and among even — or maybe especially — the ones rejected by the table as not worthy enough or right enough.”
Generous in love – God, give grace! Huge in mercy – wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down. You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!
Psalm 51:1-12 The Message