I love reading the parables of Jesus. They make me think. There is a parable Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 25 that has been on my mind lately. The premise is this: Ten bridesmaids go to wait for the wedding party to arrive. They bring their lamps, but only five of the bridesmaids think to bring extra oil. The wedding party is delayed, and by the time they arrive the lamps have all gone out. The wise bridesmaids fill and light their lamps – and enter into the joy of the feast. The foolish bridesmaids cannot, because they failed to bring extra oil with them for their vigil. This parable makes me think about what we do to be prepared for the events, surprises, and even delays in our lives. Are we wise? Or are we foolish?
A few years ago my brother and I had a conversation with our mom about her future. We asked her: Where did she want to spend her final years? What was important to her? At first she did not want to talk about it, but then we reminded her that it is better to have these conversations now, when no decisions have to be made, than to wait until we urgently needed to arrange for care. We were attempting to be wise instead of foolish.
Our church congregation is at a key point in its life. We are continuing to meet our budget and to enjoy worship and fellowship with one another. We could put off having discussions about what’s next for us. But if we seek to be wise about our future, this is a good time to do so, before a crisis forces us to act. We can use this time God has given us to ask questions about the next 10 or more years of this congregation. We can plan and dream together, asking “What would you like to see for this congregation in 2025?” Inside the newsletter you will find more information about what the Session has planned.
What I want you to understand is that this is not an immediate crisis. Having the conversation is like talking with my mom about assisted living. She was not in need of more care at that time, so it was the perfect opportunity to have that conversation about values and priorities as she looked forward to her future. Having that conversation early helped my brother and me to make good decisions about her care when that time came.
In the next few weeks we will journey with Jesus through Holy Week. We will wave palms at his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, share communion in memory of his Last Supper, pray as we consider his prayers at the Garden of Gethsemane, and remember his arrest, trial and crucifixion. Then on Easter Sunday we will celebrate God’s triumph over death in the account of Jesus’ resurrection. It is my prayer that looking at how God brings resurrection and new life will assist us in planning for the future of this congregation.
In Christ, Pastor Amy