“ONWARD, CHRISTIAN PILGRIMS!”
After years of dreaming, it’s suddenly happening all around us: construction has begun! The tiles are coming up, the pews are coming down, and asbestos is coming out, and we are going out of the Sanctuary today, not to return until we enter into the New Jerusalem: our renewed worship space. But we humans are creatures of habit; we rely on the known, the routine to allow us to function in the world. A temporary move can be a joyful time of congregational renewal, as the structures of routine are removed, and the community draws closer to one another, on pilgrimage into the unknown. For other congregations, the stress of the unknown shortens their patience with one another, as they struggle to make do in marginal worship environments with uncomfortable chairs, bad acoustics and makeshift liturgy.
Doubtless, in our temporary home, we will struggle. The chairs are uncomfortable, the acoustics may well be bad, and there will be days when chaos seems to triumph over order. But it is we ourselves that will decide whether we find in the Lower Hall a joyful time of renewal or a grim time of shortened tempers with ourselves and one another. We can choose the better way, by being gentle with ourselves, giving each other the benefit of the doubt, finding humour in mistakes, welcoming the God of creative chaos. And if we are intentional in this choice, we will find that this is who we really are, and we will be blessed.