For some reason these three words have been laid upon my spirit over the last few weeks, I believe God wants me to draw our attention to these words and their import for us within the context of our ongoing Mission Community enterprise here.
We all I think do enjoy the thought of Freshness and newness, evidently when we put our garments and linen in our washing machines we can put other ‘stuff’ in also which will make them smell fresh and lovely and will make you want to sniff them when they are dry!!
Much advertising money is spent telling us we NEED to have Fresh and New in our lives, and there is something within us which responds to these overtures each evening on the television and on the radio etc otherwise the advertising companies would not exist would they?
Yes, we like the thought of FRESH & NEW, evidently there is such a thing as a New Car fragrance too, I think its available in an aerosol so you don’t have to buy a new car to get it, New clothes, New carpets, new decorating, new golf clubs, new binoculars, new iphone, new ipad, new holiday destinations, new Sofas ……the list is immense!!
BUT………. along with Freshness and Newness comes its fellow stablemate…. CHANGE… because you cannot have one without the other, A new car may all be very well but just try and find the Choke lever or the starting handle nowadays………….
To some the whole aspect of Mission Community is just like Marmite, I even went to the furthest North in the UK recently just south of Muckle Flugga and ended up talking about Mission Community Issues!
We cannot embrace Newness without embracing change also, and yes it might be uncomfortable or strange to start with, but every generation has to learn to handle change and find a way to move forward together.
It’s still Church but not as we know it’, it has been said, and I guess its true in many ways, what we are engaged in here is much more than merely trying to find the balance between contemporary and Traditional or Liturgy and spontaneity in our worship, the whole vision of Mission Community in our Ecumenical County of Cumbria is about the ongoing continuing witness of the Church to the truth of God through Christ reconciling the world unto himself.
It is time for us to recognise this in our situation here, time for us to realise that the in the latest study, figures from one our Universities into Church Membership in the UK makes for very grim reading indeed for many denominations.
I Pray with all my heart that we can find a way to rise and respond to both Freshness & Change and that we can with the eye of faith and the heart of love move forward together and experience God’s grace amongst us.