“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward.”
~ Philippians 3: 13-14
The invitation of Jesus includes freedom from the past. In Jesus, the future is open. In our scripture for Sunday from John 21:1-19;25 the disciples are exhausted from the weight of the past. They are grieving that life with Jesus as they have known it has changed forever. They are exhausted from the ordeal of Jesus’ journey to the cross. They have yet to embrace the fullness of life made possible through the resurrection of Jesus.
They cope by going back to the familiarity of something they know: fishing. Yet even that doesn’t work out as they fish all night and catch nothing for their efforts. In the message this Sunday at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM I’ll reflect on how their failure becomes an entry point for Jesus to create new possibilities. He ministers to them personally, meeting them at their place of hunger and vulnerability.
Jesus renews their strength and their call. Jesus helps them to transcend the past and move towards a new future. Indeed, as Jesus ministers to the disciples, we see a clear picture of the hope of the psalmist: “There may be tears during the night, but joy comes in the morning! ” (Psalm 30:5).
Like the disciples, we have the hope of an open future. MCCDC supports and inspires each of us on the journey forward. On a recent Wednesday afternoon one of our members arrived a few hours early for the “Lessons in Letting Go: Forgiving Ourselves and Others” series facilitated by Rev. Elizabeth McCain. They said they just wanted to be here, to spend some time in quiet and let go of the stress of the day. Then, they said something that beautifully reminded me of our purpose: “MCCDC is the most peaceful place I know, this side of heaven.”
I’m grateful for the hope we offer every day of the week. It is the hope we share in our worship of God each Sunday. Grounded in peace, I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we transcend the past and move towards our open future.