We’re going back in person for youth ministry programs this morning for the first time since March 2020. It’s two years now since we hosted a kick off Sunday in our church building. I know less and have less informed expectations about who will be there and how it will feel than I ever have had, perhaps in my entire ministry, including a year ago when we launched what we knew would be a full year of entirely online ministry. I just don’t know.
This experience of not knowing is an important part of what being a person of faith has always been about, especially during times of tumult and change. My entire vocation has been characterized by the repetition of a mantra about the constancy of change, but that mantra had some things wrong. It overlooked events and seasons that accelerate change. I feel like the last year and a half have poured gasoline on a change fire. None of us has a clear view of what’s happening, and there is constant temptation to either hide behind that uncertainty to stay put or to declare over-confidently what needs to be done, and now.
This is the mode of existence the church was born into and the mode that has stimulated its greatest faith. in this mode we are forced to rely on the promise of God’s presence with us, God’s constancy, faithfulness, and purpose for all creation. We don’t know what will happen next—or really what’s happening now—but we don’t know nothing. The things God’s people really need to know we know.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)