Often in church life, it feels like ours is the realm of the uncertain. People tend to seek out Christian fellowship in times of grief, illness, financial hardship, or concern for the future. We come in with questions and dilemmas and doubts, seeking counsel and guidance from our peers and from Christ. As the sites of weddings and funerals and baptisms, churches are places of transition into unknowable futures. And right now, our own church is in transition as we have bid farewell to one pastor and prepare the way for another.
On top of this, we are fast approaching Good Friday– the greatest moment of uncertainty in all of human history, a time during which humanity was allowed to sit and wonder if the Son of God was forever dead and if we might be forever lost to sin. It was in preparing for our Good Friday service that I stumbled across a truly incredible prayer from Thomas Merton, and if you’re in a place of personal turmoil or uncertainty, I hope you’ll take a moment to read and pray over these words:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.
While so much of this life may be up in the air, the Good News is that God is constant. His love pursues us wherever we might go. Even unto death. Even to the cross.
Grace and Peace,