This week I have had a couple of opportunities to come together with other leaders, both lay and ordained to be fed. As I come from these opportunities, I find myself wondering “why don’t I do this more often?” Afterward, I feel wonderful, I feel supported, I feel part of a community, I feel loved. This is not to say that I do not feel these things at other times, but at these times, I don’t have to look for those feelings. As I move on to other thoughts, I encourage you make time to be fed.
One of my opportunities this week was a meeting of Lay leaders with our Bishop. He and members of his staff were in our area to “be” with us. They listened and talked and fed and supported and loved. Most of all, their time with us lead me to find a real sense of relationship between “them” and “us”, so much so, that we might be a “we” in the future. One thing that the Bishop Rimbo said that truly applied to my work with youth is that we are not the church with all the answers, nor do we need to act like it. He said that AND might be the most Lutheran word out there; Sinner AND Saint, Law AND Gospel. And this is hard, because often people come to church looking for answers. I have come to understand that my job is not to provide them with answers, but rather to provide them with the Gospel, the truth and witness that leads us to a place where those answers don’t matter as much. We may still wonder, but we do not wander.
Sunday morning, as I taught the story of Noah’s Ark to my confirmation youth, I got lost in this puzzle. I wanted to cover what Noah did to find God’s favor, and the power and gift of the covenant after the flood. Instead, we wandered down a road of “Abby! Abby! What about dinosaurs? Abby! Abby! How did all that rain affect the fish?” Instead of leading them back to the Law and Gospel of the story, I went with them down the path of looking for all the answers. I encourage you to keep in mind that we do not have all the answers, and it is not our job to have all of them, just to lead them to Christ.