In Touch – December 13, 2014
Posted on December 13, 2013 by under Touché,

Now Is the Winter of Our Discontent

It is freezing in Michigan.  In the midst of that freeze is a picture of warmth that I share with you today.  Andr, being a little less steady on his feet then in winters past, walks with me through the streets of  Holland holding on to my arm and staying as close as he can.  The thought of my twenty-year-old son holding onto me for warmth and security is a picture that you would have not seen last winter.  So while I wish it was warmer and wish he was surer of foot, I treasure the warmth of my son on my arm as we walk the cold and icy streets of Holland, Michigan.

It is freezing here.  I returned to New York this week to freezing temperatures and chilly news about the church.  I met with the elders and deacons this week and the challenges before us caused me to shiver.  I sent out a letter to encourage an increase in our giving that has seen a dramatic drop in the last year (see chart here).  And we prepared for a congregational meeting where we know there are many concerns that will be expressed.  I have been away for a while and this was the first week where I felt like I was getting back into leadership mode and it did not feel warm and fuzzy.

But I go back to my picture of walking with my son on the streets of Holland.  There is something about our weakness that draws us closer to the father and encourages us to lean into the providence of God.  That is not a bad place to be.  It may not be where we want to be, but it encourages us to trust in ways that we may not have before.  I think that God is doing a great thing in our midst and I am looking forward to the ways that we will lean into that.  As I get back to ministry focus and our ministry future, I am excited about the next steps that we are taking.

I hope you will come to the congregational meeting on Tuesday night at 7:30 in the Community Room.  We will talk about worship, the Merillat house money and our budget.  We will have time for questions, comments and concern.  It will be an invitation to lean into the Father’s strength for us on a cold night. I truly believe that the winter of our discontent will be made glorious  “by the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  (Luke 1:78-79)

I look forward to the warmth of that dawn.