School’s out, vacations begin, what’s next? The beginning of summer is often a time for a pause in all that has gone on this year. A time to sit back, reflect and look to what’s next. At some point this month, we will make a bold decision about the future mission of this congregation. We will have finished the house groups, shared their visions with leadership and then built a consensus for the congregation to consider and select.

We have four graduates from high school who are using this time to prepare for what is next. There will be college for some, work and then training for others. There is a college grad in our family of faith already into her graduate program to make ready for her next step. In the time line of our congregation, we are daring to step forth into a new direction. At the time of this writing, I don’t know what it will be. But that is alright, because I know that whatever it is, God will guide us.

The world teaches us to be afraid, to let fear dictate how we react and how we make decisions; fear people who are different, fear the scarcity of resources, fear the unknown of tomorrow. As disciples of Jesus, we are to live in faith, the opposite of fear. Courage is not the opposite of fear. Faith is. We have faith that God will guide us. We have faith that Jesus walks with us. We have faith that there is no power in all of God’s creation that can separate us from the Love of God.

Society may call this foolishness, but then we are to be fools for God. There once was a son of a wealthy merchant who argued with his father about the needs of the community. The father, in anger, told the son if he didn’t like the way he provided for the family, he was welcome to surrender everything he had received as the father’s son. Tradition tells us that he took off all of the clothes his father had purchased and walked out of his father’s house the way he had entered the world. He is credited with the creation of a community that encouraged men and women to work together to help the people around them, to spend time in prayer and worship, and to live on the simple things that they could grow and make on their own. We know this man’s name; it was Francis from the town of Assisi.

Do not fear because you lack what modern society says you must have and protect. What we truly need is to trust and have faith in God to provide us what is truly needed and that we can accomplish great things when we walk in faith.

Shalom, Darrell