“Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
This prayer shows up in Morning Prayer in the hymnbook. It has become one of my favorites because it has sustained me through some pretty uncertain times in the past. I find that it also captures my heart as I look at the uncertainties in our future. Daily as we proceed with our renovation, we run up against issues which complicate the planned budget. We want the most beautiful solution, but we must be so careful with our resources. We cannot see into the future, so we must choose options not knowing the full impact of any of our choices. It comes down to trust. We act in faith, trusting that the path we are on is one to which we are called by God’s Spirit. We trust that the limited resources we bring will be just what God needs to accomplish the purposes God dreams for our ministry here in Prineville.
As we work and pray, we are being shaped into what God requires of us. What will our ministry become as we walk into the future in our new worship space? We have the tithe of the generous gift of the Whiting Estate to bring to ministry as our renovation is complete and we look beyond our own walls to the world outside our door. There is so much need in our community, what is the special gift we bring to change lives, as if we were actually Jesus in Prineville (because, of course, we actually are). Can we teach something that people need to learn? Walk with people in recovery and help them as they struggle to gain confidence? Is there something innovative and helpful beginning which needs volunteer and monetary support to get off the ground? How can we turn the skills and care we have for our people on the inside of our church inside-out to offer it to the larger community? It’s a challenge that awaits on the other side of the challenges we face today. I think of these as the ventures of which we cannot see the ending, the paths we have yet to tread. May God indeed give us the courage to go out in faith, knowing that this is what we are made for, the call to ministry for which we pray.
As we walk into the possibilities of the New Year together, I pray that we will gather to share our vision with each other, dreaming together as God’s Spirit gives us ability, imagining the joys of living God’s mission for us here at home.
In God’s unfailing love.
Photo credit: Morning Prayers, a CC-licensed photo by Don Christner on Flickr.
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