With this past week of General Conference and all the other struggles that come with being in a church I keep finding myself asking “Is God near?”
Because when I sit by my garden, looking at the flowers, watching new green sprouts so full of potential shooting out of the dark soil, I know God is near… I am certain in my very bones that she refuses to let her church die and be done… and it is evidenced by the very green life in front of me.
But then I look at the Institution of the Church… and I feel abandoned, alone. I don’t recognize the tradition that raised me, and it seems that what once was a space full of life and community is now empty, and instead only full of the echoes my steps make ricocheting off the walls.
So as we approach this season of lent I again as myself “Is God near?” And it hits me… the answer to my question has been in my tears, in my hurt, and in my uncertainty. I have felt the nearness of God more acutely in my tears this week than I have anywhere else in a long time. So maybe that is where God is calling us to start. Maybe our tears are the beginning. Our sorrow as a Methodist community could be what composts those empty halls and archaic rules. It could be the key to what begins the deep, honest work of the new… of the near.
Come Holy Spirit come… remind us how near you are amidst this foggy future. Show us how to make holy space for your work, your grace, and your love to take root. Help us to remember you are always near, doing the radical work of redeeming this broken world. Amen.