Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Dream In Between

My wife and I read Morning Prayer together each day. As we prayed and talked about the Bible lessons this morning, we perceived ourselves in an "in between" place.

My wife shared a recent dream in which she was in a church, seated uncomfortably between Biblically missionary people one one side and Bible-resisting or lukewarm folks on the other. There could be no real worship or mission in such a situation, as the competing sides couldn't be together or even face the same way.

The lessons* we have been reading have similar "in betweens":

Joel 1 and 2 present a time between divine judgment (a locust plague) and restoration (a bountiful new harvest and the blessing of a "remant" who remained faithful to God).

Psalms 137 & 138 speak to the time between despairing, angry exile and God's rescue in response to prayer.

II Peter 1 and 2 are a literal description of the corrupt Episcopal Church - arrogant, wordy, materialistic and full of false teachers who destroy their followers. God is with us now in an "in between" - we know that we cannot serve TEC's agenda, and we are prayerfully discerning "what's next."

* Lessons from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer lectionary, Last Week Before Advent.


Alice C. Linsley said...

The in-between places are hard but much growth takes place there.

Anonymous said...

Tim and Melissa,

Yes, transitions are always confusing and usually hard, especially when it's unclear just where you are going.

Hmmm. Reminds me of another famous biblical story. Imagine how Abraham and Sarah felt. God called them out of their homeland and promised them a land of their own, but without telling them just where. At least that's the way it sure seems in Genesis 12.

Waiting is hard. No one likes it. But Advent is just that, a time of waiting, of hoping, of anticipation.

It's hard on kids who eagerly wait for Santa to come. It's hard on some of us adults too, who are stuck in the midst of major life transitions, but the way ahead for us is still impossible to see.

And it's hard on churches too, caught up as so many Episcopal/Anglican Churches are in the middle of this unresolved crisis that is tearing our worldwide fellowship apart. Indeed, the whole Anglican Communion is in a time of deeply disturbing transition, for no one really knows what is going to happen, and how it will all turn out.

In a sense, Tim+, your family's uncertain and perilous future is a microcosm of the AC as a whole. Perhaps your dear family can also serve as an illustration to the rest of us that it CAN turn out all right in the end.

May the Lord sustain and guide you!
I'm praying for you, as I hope you are for me. I'm in transition too.

TLF+ said...

Bless you too, David+. All this chaos is a very rich time of prayer. God is clearly up to something, and we know that He is good and faithful.

Our Daddy has a surprise in store for us.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Ditto that, Fr. Handy. We know that every good gift comes down from the Father of light!

I'll remember you in my prayers also.