The last year has been one of unknowns. A pandemic. An election. Constant changes in policies and procedures for churches, grocery stores, gyms, and schools. Just about everything has been unknown. There are many other unknowns for each of us in our lives – new or ending relationships, employment changes, graduating or starting school, moving to a new home or into a care facility, a new diagnosis or recovery. Life is full of unknowns.
Unknowns can be scary! But they can also be a chance to learn and grow and lean on God’s presence with us. We have good Biblical company for walking into the unknown!
Jesus walks into the unknown throughout his ministry as he walks towards the cross. On the one hand, he knows what is coming – his death – but on the other hand, he is unsure. I imagine he is fearful about the pain, about descending into hell, about if he will be strong enough to do what God has called him to. Jesus walks into the unknown. But he doesn’t go alone – God goes with him.
The Israelites walked into the unknown. They crossed the Red Sea on dry land into unknowns – how would they find water and food and their promised land? They walked into the unknown. But they didn’t go alone – God went with them.
The good news is that we do not go alone into the unknown! Just as our Biblical predecessors, we know and trust that God walks with us into this new chapter! We know that God has promised to be with us in our unknown, just as God was with the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years.
Being on the cusp of unknown is hard. And anxious. And uncomfortable. Especially for those of us who really prefer to make plans and have control. But we can live into this moment of unknown, and see it for the holy place it is.
This moment of unknown is also one of hope! We hope this new beginning for our congregation will be one of renewed community life, commitment to God, and service in the community. We hope this unknown will bring us together to learn about ourselves and each other.
As we walk into the unknowns of this year, I invite you to do so as Jesus does – grounded in prayer! Cry out to God with every single feeling that is in you. Bring your anger or anxiety or hope or confusion or excitement or fear. Bring it all to God- even if it doesn’t make sense. Because God has promised to listen, and God has promised to be with us.
If we are going into the unknown, I’d rather not go alone. And we don’t – we walk together as a community in Christ! And we walk with God’s presence continually among us.