Such a contrast. Today the congregation I serve was preparing for Rally Day and Ministry Fair tomorrow. There was such energy and laughter and joy as this gathering of folks prepared to "pat themselves on their (collective) back" for the lives being touched, both within our family of faith and those who are within our reach. Then I returned home and saw even more emails and postings and links with angst over some of the actions of the Churchwide Assembly last month. Such a contrast.
I know that even writing this makes me subject to the justifiable criticism that our faith is not simply a matter of laughter and joy and enthusiasm. That is not what I mean to convey. Certainly, that is not the case. Rather, it becomes clear to me once again that that which is the source of our greatest joy is also the source of our greatest pain.
Like hundreds or even thousands of Lutherans right now, I am wrestling. And I expect that, like Jacob, as the dawn comes, I will walk into it with a wounded hip. Perhaps, like Jacob, I am wrestling with God. But perhaps not. Some of my brothers and sisters in faith assert that unless I stand against the actions of the Churchwide Assembly with regard to homosexuality, I am apostate and outside the Christian faith. Others share their own wrestlings. Others continue to get ready for Rally Day.
It seems that our task now is to live in the tension of Rally Day and tornadoes.
Tonight I will finish preparations for tomorrow. Tomorrow I will teach and proclaim the Word as God equips me to do, I will worship Him as the Spirit enables me, I will celebrate the Eucharist as one called and privileged to do so. All with a most grateful heart.