When God says “I am making all things new.” I wonder if we are really into that. I mean, do we want all things new? Or do we prefer to keep things as they are, such that nothing needs to be figured out. So there’s no need for more paper-work. New forms.
It’s not, I think, that we are lazy, it is that we are exhausted and overstimulated. I always say with regard to philanthropy that we are not greedy people- rather, we are frightened people and our greed is how we choose to scream. Similarly, we are not lazy or lacking in creativity or ingenuity as much as we are simply exhausted, making change seem terribly tiring. And it is, or can be.
When an institution like the church faces societal change on the level of that which our church faces right now, it will need to change or collapse. Its systems cannot and will not be able to continue as they are. And the prophets in our church calling for change will only go the way of all prophets – they will be killed. And God seems to have great compassion on things that are stuck and on prophets who must die.
But God is making all things new and God’s relentless interest in the poor and the marginalized – God’s compassion for those who suffer along with his smoldering anger over those who maintain the status quo so as to maintain their privilege, position and ease of life; will catch up with the church. And with each of us.
But for you and for me; what is God making new today? What is God switching up and messing with and what are the ramifications of that? Can we imagine the possibility that God’s regeneration of our lives and our days might be every bit as productive as the way God likes to create and recreate the planet?
When we say “thy will be done” and “thy kingdom come” are we really sure we are willing to embrace that? Or do we simply want God to bless and fund “our will be done” and the building of “our kingdom?”
In the natural world, things die because they are eaten alive, bite by bite, so that other larger things can live. It’s messy. In the natural world things die and rot so that other things can live. In the natural world being eaten alive is not taken personally. So what of our lives? What might God be doing which will change our lives or your precious status quo? Might a divorce make new and wonderful opportunity for two miserable people? Might the closing of an old, tired church at the corner of Elm and Main Street make a new drop-in center possible for an agency working to eradicate homelessness and needing a good deal on bricks and glass? Might a lost job be just the thing which makes a person come up with a new and wonderful plan? Might the unfunding of the church by the next generations be just the thing to force change in a crusty old church more interested in creating an hour and a half of religious entertainment than being a way-station for the people busy easing human suffering – and making the church ask hard questions about what Jesus hoped “the church” might accomplish on a day to day basis? Is the church a mission or just a subscription to a weekly spiritual burlesque show the ticket stub for which keeps us feeling “holy?”
In my live and in your life, God is busy making all things new. It can be messy. And that is, if we think about it even for a moment, terrifying. And thrilling. Both.