As we move through this time of transition at St. Paul’s, it has been good to see so many of you gathering to reflect on where we have been and where we might go. Sometimes these conversations have taken place one-to-one and others in formal and informal groups. However, the thoughtful comments and questioning of the faithful are signs of the Spirit stirring us to greater awareness of our calling and common life as a church.
We have many questions to ask about what God has in mind for St. Paul’s. It is tempting to give way to the general anxiety that permeates our human affairs and be fearful about that future. Perhaps we lack confidence in a good outcome or fear the inevitable changes and disruptions ahead. Nevertheless, as we wait on the coming of the Prince of Peace, I am reminded of the words of Thomas Merton: “Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”
While there may be times of discomfort ahead, it is also true it can be a time of gifts and grace. Shaken out of our everyday mold, we find ourselves wanting to know each other better, figuring out how to come together as a congregation, imagining new ministries and new relationships. This is how Christ works. We do not generally sign up for change as a matter of habit. As human beings we resist those things that make us afraid. It is no coincidence that the first words out of the mouths of angels are, “Fear not.”
Angels know exactly who we are and how we react to the unknown, and just as angels bring great news into the creation so the Christ, uninvited, is here among us to share our demented inn and bring us peace.
The Rev. Susan N. Eaves