Pastor’s Page for April
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
Our journey through the Three Days of Jesus’ Passover from death to life has confronted us with the truth of his promise that abundant life is the fruit that comes from dying. The “death” of the wheat seed leads to a new “green blade rising from the buried grain.”
We tend to want to cling to what is known and familiar. Change often feels threatening, because we always see more clearly what we will lose than what we could gain. Yet growth and new life require a certain letting go. To embrace a new future, we must release the past. Jesus’ image of the grain of wheat is good for us to hold in mind as the Mission Exploration Team shares their report this month.
Trinity is in the midst of a transition in pastoral leadership. The congregation’s identity under the leadership of Pr. Bill Mains is familiar and well known among you, but the future remains hidden. At the same time, the church as a whole is in transition. The North American church’s formerly established role, largely supported by the surrounding culture, is now in question. As Dwight Zscheile writes in The Agile Church, “the central challenge facing churches today is rediscovering who they are in a society that has in many ways rejected Christianity.” The months ahead will be a time to call a new pastoral leader, to take risks and try new things, to listen to people in the community outside the church, to let go what is not working or is getting in the way, and to nurture community. You will certainly want to build on your strengths as a congregation, but you will also do well to test your assumptions and let go whatever does not help you to love your neighbors and care for the world God loves.
The grief of letting go is met by the energy of creativity and new life. The single grain dies, but as it breaks open, new possibilities emerge. As you move forward into the call process, trust this great promise of Easter! Embrace the letting go, and trust God to give new life. What is God inviting you to let “die”? If you take the risk, what new life could arise?