As we dive into the land between … Did you get that verse, Ben? Can you put it up there? Oh, can’t read it very well. I’ll see if I can bring it up on my computer so I can actually read it. A quote from Terrence Fretheim in his commentary on Exodus. It’s one of my favorite quotes when I think about the wilderness and the land between. It talks about how when we get into that position, it’s so easy for us …
“The former seems ineffective so that we’re short of the consummation. Redemption we have, but we’re short of consummation. The former seems ineffective and the latter only a mirage. The promise has been spoken, but who can live by words alone? The hope has been proclaimed, but the horizon keeps disappearing in the sandstorms. And so trust in God often turns into recalcitrance and resentment. Faith erodes with the dunes. Commandments collapse into the disorder that shapes daily life, and judgment is invited in to share one’s tattered tent. Yet even in the wilderness, God is responsive to his complaining people.”
I thought that was just a great statement to frame the beginning of our time together in this land between, that sometimes it is easy to slip into those places of recalcitrance and resentment when we get into that land where we’re stuck between redemption. We have salvation, and yet we’re short of consummation.
But I want to bring up Jason DeVries and Elaine May and Andy. They’re going to share with you what does it look like to take care of our souls in the land between. Jason is a friend of mine from Indiana, where I did ministry for 20 years. He was in a church in Highland. Larry talks about the story of Pillar Church being a CRC RCA. Jason leads, for many years, the Highland Church, part of Faith in Dyer. They are also a CRC RCA church. But Jason has been through a journey in the last few years, or many years, that’s he’s going to tell you about this morning.
Elaine has been a part of the Center for Church Renewal. I had the pleasure of working with Elaine on the team there. Elaine led Mayfair Church. Many of us have, different times have said, “I want to do … whatever it takes to serve God’s kingdom in the church.” Elaine did that at Mayfair, where they went through a process of giving up and turning it over for a new church plant. I just have so much respect for that journey.