Today marks the 41st anniversary of the Uniting Church.
In human terms hitting 40 is about a clear-headed perspective on oneself and one’s place in the world. It’s like the 100 000 km service for one’s car; a major overhaul that sets one up for the years ahead.
- Is the work you’re doing giving meaning and helping you grow?
- Is there something you wished to pursue that you haven’t had the time or courage to get around to?
- Are the relationships you’re in avenues for life and life and all its fullness?
- How did you get here?
- Is this where you want to be?
- In what way does your life reflect the way of Jesus?
These are the questions for people in their 40s in the west.
For a church that sees itself as part of a long trajectory over time of being a part of God’s purposes in the world, being in the 40s is something very different.
Yet our journey in the past 40 years is one of an ongoing commitment to being a community that lives out the gospel. That believes the gospel of Jesus Christ is embedded in the story of creation, that believes that the mystery and wonder of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection speaks now and will continue to speak and inform our common life for as long as we can imagine.
We face many challenges; a lot are simply the challenges of being a human organisation in the world that has a purpose over time.
Yet our particular challenge is about being a community of faith that lives the gospel. We need the wisdom of church over the ages for that; we need one another for that; we need the humility that comes from letting Jesus be Lord; trusting that as we contribute, the Spirit can lead us. That we will make mistakes is inevitable; that we learn humbly from them is up to us. It is God’s faithfulness that must be the only rock in which we trust.