With spring blooming around us I find my mind wandering as if the re-emergence of life was somehow disrupting the cold march of days our struggles remind us of. Spring is, in one sense, a disruption. And in another sense it’s not so much a disruption as it is a reminder to pay attention to what matters most. What matters most to you? For me, it’s that life always finds a way to continue. Even under the most dire of circumstances. When the earth was enveloped in the gray cold of an endless winter after an asteroid hit the earth near the Yucatan, 66 million years ago, 75% of all species were wiped from the face of our planet. And somehow life found a way. And from little shrew-like mammals we evolved. I keep that in mind whenever I see a mouse.
What matters more for me is that we continue on with our hopes and dreams. I am leaving you as your Senior Minister. That is a disruption. But what matters is that you continue as a congregation. What matters most is that your spirit grows and blooms in your own new way.
Much is made in our capitalist economy of the power of disruption. Disrupting the old way of doing things in favor of something new and better is considered highly valuable in our economy and society. While that might work in technology and business, I don’t think it works in congregations. Congregations derive their strength and identity, in part, from maintaining traditions and relationships that serve to shelter and heal from the constant change of modern life. Congregations provide a steady presence of love and acceptance in a world that seems to be about anything but love and acceptance. By maintaining our beloved community we are providing a safe place for us to discover what matters most to us and helping us change our lives and our world.
While constant disruption is an anathema to congregational life, some disruption is necessary. There is a natural and necessary tension between the way things have been and the way they could be. It’s important to give up a bit of that tension in favor of new ideas and new ways of doing. My hope for you all is that you will find a healthy balance between retaining what is sacred and welcoming those who are new and bring with them new ideas. Only in this way can the Spirit of Life move in the heart of compassion and through the hands of justice.
The regularity of the seasons reminds us that nature keeps her own sacred rhythm even in the midst of a changing planet. So too, can we, as people of faith, hold on to what we love with one hand, while reaching for new life with the other.
So may it be, Rev. John