Tired in the wilderness

At first, the children of Israel were ready for the challenge.

We'll flee from Pharaoh, dashing away from our homes (such as they were) before he changes his mind. And when he does decide to come after us, we'll try to outrace the chariots. It's a fools'a plan, but what else can we do? When they get stuck in the mud, our legs that trembled with fear start dancing with joy. We breathe deep the air of freedom and the promise of tomorrow. 

Until tomorrow seems too much like yesterday, all sand and steps and no way to know how far we've come and how far we have to go. Until tomorrow looks like yesterday, and we start to question the whole enterprise.

All of a sudden, Egypt doesn't look so bad. At least we knew. Maybe what they asked us to do was impossible, but at least we knew where we were and how things worked and what our place was in the midst of them. Even if it wasn't that much of a place.

I've been thinking about those wandering children of Israel lately. We've all found...

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When Church Walls Come Tumbling Down

I've been thinking a lot about place recently.

The church in which I grew up (First Baptist, Winston-Salem), the one in which I was baptized and the congregation who ordained me announced that they were voting upon a plan to tear down two of the three buildings of their downtown campus, keeping only the sanctuary building  with its rooms and offices. 

From my father's files I have the booklets for the capital campaign that raised the money to build those buildings fifty odd years ago. They touted the beauty of a chapel, the recreation possibilities of a gym, the community-building areas of children's space and a fellowship hall and kitchen.

But that was fifty odd years ago and not all of the years have been kind. The cost of bringing the space  up to speed is prohibitive, much less undertaking a full blown and needed renovation... not to mention cost of utilities. The church faced a choice of adopting as their core ministry sustaining the buildings or of channeling...

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