Jesus says, “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will rule over all, and when they rule, they will rest.” – Thomas 2
It no longer amazes me how difficult the exercise of putting together a budget and an annual report is. I once thought, many years ago when I first started preparing for church Annual Meetings and pulling together Annual Reports, that the whole process would become easier! It does not. And the difficulty does not lie in the technical aspect anymore. It has to do with the plain fact that we are a living, breathing organism that can never be “solved” with an algorithm. We are a different community year by year; every year presents new challenges, and every year has its fair share of disturbances. We come and go, some projects take on new life while others fade out.
I am happy to say that every year delivers new marvels too. I am still floored by the “Advent Grotto” Ned Davis designed for our Advent wreath just over two months ago. I continue to be delighted by the slowly but steadily-growing use by the community of our Laundry Love program. I was amazed at the generosity of the church and community in response to this year’s CROP Walk. And what a relief to have a new, reliable and efficient heating plant and no more worries about leaking underground storage tanks.
The first verse (or logion) of the Gospel of Thomas suggests that the whole purpose of the Gospel is to lead the reader into a discovery of the call of Jesus toward wholeness. The second (quoted above) suggests that this process is a never-ending quest. It is not that arriving is an ending, but rather, the start of a new cycle, a new disturbance. Significantly that disturbance is not our undoing, but our goal! Later in the Gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, along the same lines, “Be passersby.”
We never rest on any laurels we might have. If we have a budget that is in the black one year, by some grace of God, then the next year we have spent it, given more of it away, securing some of it in the trust which is ours of the building, giving our staff a small pay raise, etc. To reign (or rule), in Thomas’ use of the word, does not mean to Lord over anything but ourselves: it means to be at peace with the gifts that are given us, and place our trust in that which is beyond us, and to be faithful to all that we know to be good and true.
We present to you another installment of that process.