The story of the Hebrews’ trek through the wilderness (a portion of which we’ll hear on Sunday) might be the most universal story in human history. Think about it, a people are having a hard time in one location and wish to leave, their wish is granted, the trip isn’t a simple one, the people wish that they had never left and complaining begins.
And boy do they complain! Read this portion again, “The Israelites said to [Moses and Aaron], ‘If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'” We’d be better off dead!
That is some serious complaining, but honestly, haven’t there been times in your life when you’ve thought, “Geesh, I wish I’d never done that!” Even though you know, full well, that the Promised Land lies ahead.
Here at Saint Paul’s, we’re preparing for a trek through the wilderness called “adding a third service.” Hopefully it won’t take 40 years, but it certainly will entail growing pains. There will be times when most, if not all, of us will think or say or whine or yell, “If only we had died by the hand of space constraints back at 10 o’clock!” But the Promised Land lies ahead. We’re not making the change for the sake of change. We’re not adding a service to make us more comfortable. We’re making room for the Spirit. We’re getting uncomfortable so that more folks might find room to experience the love of God at Saint Paul’s in Foley.
It is helpful for me to hear this story this week, before final plans are announced, as I prepare for the inevitable while giving thanks to God for his provision. As I said in yesterday’s sermon, “Let’s go! Let’s risk! Let’s rely on the God of Infinite Possibility and Provision.”