My daring hope is that the Church is not dying but being transformed in the great unravelling. Institutional unravelling and decline may be the work of God leading to transformation and renewal. Renewal of our institutions included.
Could God be freeing the church to participate more joyfully in the work of Christ in the world? Could weakness and uncertainty be the greatest gift rather than the enemy?
I am discovering Jesus at work in the most unexpected places. In the fringes, not the centre. Not in the ‘Jerusalems’. Outside Church controlled territory, in places where privilege and security are absent. Called and sent. It seems to be consistent with the biblical narrative. The church is not dead. Jesus is not watching from a distance but going ahead of us, calling us to join in with all that God is doing. At work in the ordinary and the broken. He is freeing and calling us to stop doing some things and give our attention to what God is doing in front of us. Calling us to shift our attention from what was and become disciples who follow, not knowing the way but the end – looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector. Pilgrim people. On the way with such a daring hope that we can even enjoy the journey.
Pilgrim people trust without absolute temporal certainty. Pilgrim people live in weakness and obscurity. On the way to a promised end, but not there yet. On the way, this daring hope of transformation might free us to wonder, listen, receive and be satisfied. Here, we have no lasting city – our city is to come.
Rev. Shane Kammermann is the Cairns Hospital Chaplain.