New Life

Tim BlodgettUncategorized0 Comments

I do not accept the narrative about the death of the church, in general, or the Presbyterian Church (USA), in particular.  I have seen too much evidence to the contrary.  New ministries are popping up across the country. New churches are being planted. Established churches are being renewed, reused, and repurposed. When I go and meet with Christians at conferences, meetings, and other gatherings, again and again, I encounter people filled with life and hope. I refuse to accept that we are surrounded by death and withering on the vine.
I am also not blind to the reality of these days. I see the churches we have closed. I am aware of the number of churches that have been dismissed to other denominations. I agonize over the struggles of so many churches in the PCUSA dealing with declining membership and crumbling buildings. I know these things. With the places I serve in the larger church, I know them very well. I simply refuse to read these signs of the times as the indicators of the end of anything.
This season of Lent is a time in the church calendar for self-reflection. What do we truly believe about Jesus Christ and his church? In what do we put our faith? What does the bible lead us to believe about this world?  The self-reflection of Lent will give way to the reality of Holy Week and Easter soon. Death, resurrection, and new life will be our themes.
I believe God is doing a new thing in us and through us for the life of the world. The church and the PCUSA are not dying. They are simply changing… perhaps in very big and challenging ways. Structures are falling. Institutions are coming down. Our life together is being recast. I am hopeful. Like Mary returning from the empty tomb, I am hopeful.
Live into hope. Believe in what God is doing. Participate in the new life that God is breathing into the world. Change the narrative of the church from despair to joy and excitement over what God will do next. Happy Easter!

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