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Embracing Chaos: The Call to Adventure in a Changing World

I’ve been reflecting on change a lot recently. Humans don’t like change. Maybe it’s more accurate to say humans don’t like change that makes them change. 





I bet you like change out there more than you think. You want modern conveniences, new technologies, cars, planes, trains and computers. I like the efficiencies and comforts these changes have brought to my life, too. I’d rather not go back to high infant mortality rates, wagon trains, or outhouses. I like indoor plumbing and electricity, thank you very much. 


We like the sacrificial changes and experiments through chaos and disorder that others have conducted to bring order to our worlds. They tried, failed, and tried again to create the change that benefits you eventually. Think of how sinful, selfish and short-sighted we are…I am. 


We are overdependent upon order, structure and the systems that brought about order. There is simply one problem–chaos always shows up. Things change. Order does not last. Tests must be tried. Discomfort and failure must occur. 


We teeter-totter between order and chaos our entire lives. We may pretend it is not true, through the order of our creaturely comforts. We’re just fine. We’ll always be fine. But deep in our souls, we know this truth–chaos is coming. 


This is why we like the liturgy of Sunday worship. It provides needed order in the midst of the chaotic unexpected of our lives, which according to history, should be remarkably expected. The God who ordered creation invites us to move from the chaos of our sin to the reestablished order of sins forgiven by faith in the crucified Christ. We love the Gospel! Praise Jesus!


Yet, the Holy Spirit invades our ordered worship and invites us to prayerfully follow Him into the chaos of this world. And the Holy Spirit is hard to pin down. He’s like the wind. Or a wild goose, moving this way and that–out of control. Creating faith, sustaining faith and mobilizing the saved for a life worth living out in the chaos. 


Praise God that we get to follow the risen Jesus, who followed the order of the Father, and embraced the spontaneity of the Spirit, out into a chaotic world. 


The Church is not the Church if she resists the call of the Holy Spirit to step into the chaos. Jesus came to bring order to the chaos within us and around us. We must follow Him. 


This means change. Embrace it. You’re secure in God’s love and your baptismal identity. You know God’s story from creation to recreation. You’re going to be okay. In fact, you’re entirely more than okay. Rest in your identity in Christ. Then, join the Holy Spirit on the greatest adventure of all time. 


Leaders and pastors, you must go on this adventurous journey with the Holy Spirit first. The flock needs shepherds willing to take the sheep on an adventure to greener pastures. You’ll find lost sheep there. The flock will grow. It will be chaotic and feel a little out of control. Never forget who is in control. The One who spoke creation into existence, bringing order to chaos. 


Finally, please pray for historical perspective. Who sacrificed to build the church you worship in? What leaders decided to stop and build a church here so people can hear about Jesus? What group of people could not sleep until the new ministry that you now call “old” was birthed? What pastor and leader was willing to risk change for the sake of advancing the Gospel into diverse contexts? 


Do you even know their names? I imagine not. Yet, you are the beneficiary of their risk through change so that the order of the Gospel would come to you. 


Are you willing to do the same for future generations? I pray so. 


Will you go on this adventure? It will require change. You’ll meet the Triune God in the change. The risk will be more than worth it. Trust the Leader. He alone brings order to chaos. 


The ULC is here to encourage you along the way. 


 



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