Harbour or open sea?
Have you seen that recent movie “The Greatest Showman”? Thought it was brilliant. One of the songs called “Tightrope” begins with these words…
"Some people long for a life that is simple and planned, tied with a ribbon. Some people won't sail the sea 'cause they're safer on land, to follow what's written. But I'd follow you to the great unknown."
Such powerful words, even more powerful when you hear them sung…go on, have a listen on the Internet, you might even find yourself downloading the song! And when you do, I hope you think of the first disciples when they were being called by Jesus, and I hope you think of the life we lead in Churches around the land and wish it was something just a little more akin to the words of that song.
Some people in the Church wish for a life that is simple and planned, tied with a ribbon. But the Christian life is not all “nicey, nicey” and definitely not easy! It involves risk when we say we will follow Jesus. But it seems to me that there is little risk taking in the Church of Scotland today! Sure, we have a handful of Pioneer ministers, sure we have pockets of exciting and good things happening here and there, but on the whole we cannot deny decline. And whilst we play it safe with our little rules and regulations and institutional lifestyle, tied up with a ribbon, someone is calling us out of our comfort zones and asking us to take risks in the name of faith: know who that might be?
I have a jumble of suggestions and ideas running through my head, and yes we need to make some plans for reform, but what is stopping us doing it? What is stopping us getting out of the harbour and making for the open seas? The first disciples were willing to follow Jesus into the great unknown, are we? We are often good with the words, but we have to back them up with action!
Harbour or open sea? Life all nice and laid out as we like it, tied with a ribbon, or venture into the great unknown? These are questions for the Church of Scotland as a whole, but they will only be asked if we ask them first of ourselves and of our local Churches.