Our church feels like it is on to something important. For years, we have lingered in the shadow of the valley of death, or so it seems. Not that there haven t been good times. There have. But they have been small oasis along the long journey of attrition. There feels like a fresh breeze, a new stirring, a suspicious tremble of life. I ve been cautious to say anything because I ve said things before, like We re coming around a corner! After saying that more than four times, you can safely conclude you ve just walked around the block around in circles. But, others are saying it now, and I m Amen-ing them. It feels like something really good is coming.
At the same time, I am aware that to always look into the future for the real presence of God or for true life or a sense of having arrived has its dangers. It can breed discontent with the present. It can underestimate the importance of what the Spirit is doing NOW! It can disparage the fullness of God at this minute. God won t be any more present than he is today. However, like I ve said before, perhaps WE can be more present tomorrow. Perhaps WE can be more alive tomorrow. Perhaps WE can be more gracious tomorrow.
I wrestle with this dynamic all the time: waiting for God while appreciating what God s doing now, and who God is now. It is a dialectical tension. It is paradoxical to be aware of both the full presence of God and the full promise of God.