I’m starting to think that the Episcopal church is better off without me. The whole deacon discernment process was put on hold a year ago. I understand now that there is no way I could speak freely and have them put their stamp of approval on me.
Because how dare I say that God is talking to me?
As Christians, our goal is to be connected with God. How can we possibly do the will of God if we can’t hear God?
Oh, right, I forget. We are supposed to trust that the priest/minister/pastor is hearing from God, and telling us what to do.
Yet, this isn’t what Jesus wanted.
So I’m on my own now. I’m non denominational. I’ve been without a church home for half a year, and it is a bit terrifying. There isn’t a road map for this. I keep wanting to go back to the old way, but then I feel a pain in my gut every time I think about it. I know that I can’t. I know that isn’t my path.
I’ll go to a Christmas Eve service. I’ll take communion in a gym. I’ll celebrate Christ in the pool at the Y. I’ll go to my spiritual director. I’ll go to a friend’s house where we share what the Spirit leads us to share. I’ll host events at my house. I’ll pray over my meal in silence at a buffet. I’ll make healing jewelry for a grieving friend. I’ll write.
God is connecting with me in new ways.
It is like I’m on a boat, sailing far away at sea. I’m no longer following the coastline or the man-made lights along the shore. The lights I’m following are the same lights that sailors have followed for thousands of years.
I’m going backwards to go forwards.
The radio doesn’t work here, this far out. There’s no map on the sea either. I have no way of knowing if I’m headed the right way. I have no way of knowing if I’m lost.
I’m pushed along by the breath of God, and that suits me just fine.
This is the same breath that created the world, that gave life to Adam.
I feel safe in this boat, this ark, the ark of Noah, the ark of Moses as a baby. Both went out on trust, went out in wooden boat on the ocean, adrift. Both were there because all was lost and the old ways didn’t work anymore. Both were there because to stay where they were meant certain death.
The Covenant has an ark too. So do Torah scrolls.
The main body, the sanctuary of a traditional church building is known as a nave. It is from naval, from ship. It is an ark for people. It looks like a ship, upside down. The sharp pointed roof is the hull of the ship, pointed towards the sky.
I don’t want that ship anymore. I want to take it and turn it all upside down and set it afloat again.
I don’t think that God wants us to be grounded or set in our ways, or stuck in one place. I think God wants us to be forever trusting in God’s ways, and the only way to do that is to set sail, rudderless, anchorless, free. God wants us to take us further than we’ve ever gone and right where we need to be.
God is, was, and shall be. The Hebrew YHWH is a contraction of these words. It is a good name for God, the infinite, the forever, the now and always is. God is endless and eternal.
We can’t understand this, we humans. We invented time. We invented the idea that tomorrow follows today and each day has a separate name and that time takes place. Perhaps that is why we are confused. We don’t understand God because we can’t limit God. We can’t define God because God is indefinable.
Wake up. Hear the gulls. The day is dawning here.
There’s no shore, but we are not alone.
The beings of the sea and sky keep us company.
Wake up, and smell the salt in the air.
We are safe.
We are home.