Thursday, October 22, 2015

A terminus moment

In the realm of God there is always hope. Our hope is in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in whom we have eternal life, that is, life in the eternal presence of God.

By our Baptism, we are also a resurrection people. We believe that new life always follows death, and so, we don’t fear death. In fact, we don’t fear anything because we know that God Almighty, who created us and redeemed us also sustains us, providing all we need (though maybe not all we want) to continue faithfully forward.

As followers of Christ we move through the cycles of our lives with the confidence borne of this faith, knowing that each step is taking us where God’s purpose for us will be fulfilled. Each hardship we face not only builds our spiritual character and endurance but also give us opportunity to watch the redeeming love of God in action. These experiences, together with our celebrations, give us stories to share about how good the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ really is.

Since our reality is that we live in the eternal life given to us by our Savior, there is no end for us – no death - only places of new beginnings. The Latin word for this is “terminus” which David Adam describes beautifully in this poem:

The terminus
is not where we stay,
it is the beginning
of a new journey
It is where we
reach out beyond,
where we experience
new adventures.
It is where we get off
to enter new territory,
to explore new horizons,
to extend our whole being.
It is a place
touching the future.
It opens up new vistas.
It is the gateway
to eternity.

Redeemer is in a moment of terminus. We are marking the end of what was and opening ourselves to the new thing God is doing in us. In the way that only God can manage this new thing is an act of loving fulfillment.

I don’t say that lightly, and it isn’t an overstatement. We are a people united in the love of God. We are one. It’s a bit like a choir: all of our voices singing together make a sound that none can make alone. But it isn’t just us singing. We believe that our voices join with the heavenly chorus and together we make a sound only God can orchestrate.

In her book, “The Great Emergence” Phyllis Tickle, a leading voice in the emergence church movement, describes 500 year cycles of life, death, and resurrection in the life of the church. These cycles are separated by moments of terminus – moments wherein the established systems and institutional structures of the church move toward their death so that a new thing can begin. Tickle says Christianity in the midst of one of these cycles now. Christianity itself is in a terminus moment.

Our faith in Jesus Christ assures us that we can run without fear into the new territory God is placing before us. We can explore the new horizons before us with confidence that God who created us recreates us every day; that we have been redeemed by Jesus the Christ and made a resurrection people.; and that God’s own Holy Spirit, who dwells in us and sustains us every moment of our lives, now leads us into our new life with Good News to share for the healing of souls.

If we will go… and I pray we will go, all of us, as one body, one spirit in Christ.

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