On ascension Sunday, Pastor Phil Waite reflected on his six years of pastoral ministry of College Mennonite. You may hear this part of his sermon by going to the website and scrolling for an hour into the service. Click here to hear. Phil reported that during those six years, 153 members of the congregation have passed on.
Most of those who passed on were raised in a mono-cultural community that prompted them to regular church attendance and generous giving.
The younger replacements are not as committed as their elders were to regular attendance nor to giving as generously to the church.
After the service I told Phil that in my life I have faced toward the light. Phil hugged me and said, “I know”. A snippet of I John 2:8 has long guided me. The writer of the first epistle ascribed to John reminded his readers of the new commandment that is my motto, and sets the stage for my life’s direction when he declared that “the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining”.
I’ve turned my back to the darkness of strife between nations and tribes, and divisiveness in the church. I focus on the horizon where the light is already shining; of a world at peace and plenty; a world in which the petitions in the Lord’s prayer are fully answered; a world in which God’s name is hallowed, a world to which the Kingdom has come, a world in which the will of god is done on earth as in heaven; where everyone is given daily bread; where all debts are forgiven; a world bereft of greed
When my daughter and I went to Bob Evans for a meal recently I saw a glimpse of the diverse community in which we live. Seated across the aisle from us were a pleasant, white-skinned, young brunette. A small, red-haired boy sat next to her. Across from these two was a girl with a purple scarf wrapped around her head that hid her hair and accented her beautiful face. I assumed she was Muslim. Siting next to her was an African American male. The happy mingling of cultures and colors reminded me of the diverse community which feeds the church now and even more in the future.
let the darkness go
focus on that before you
the True Light shines now