By Rev Fiona Bennett (From Seeds April 2021)
One of the passages we discussed in Contextual Bible Study last month was Proverbs 8, where wisdom is described as a woman.
She is standing by crossroads and public areas full of people making choices and decisions, calling on people (somewhat frustratedly) to listen to her. She reminds people that she is the way of justice and righteousness, and she is treasure worth more than gold. It is a wonderful passage and a striking image of Wisdom speaking out to us, if we choose to listen.
As the vaccines gradually begin to take effect in the UK, it seems that now is a good time to start thinking and planning for a time when schools, shops, cafes and even churches will be open again.
Before we rush back into old habits, there is a short time of grace to consider how we want things to be when they re-open. Are there things we have gained or learned during this pandemic that we do not want to forget or lose? What has Wisdom been saying to us through the past year that can steer us toward her paths of justice and righteousness for the present and future?
At Church Meeting on March 9th, we began asking these questions and have followed them up with letters and emails toward the end of March. The three key questions were:
- What do you want to carry from 2020 into the future, which you would be sad to lose?
- What do you want to reclaim from 2019, which you have missed through 2020?
- What insights might the 2020 experience offer AUC about our calling and the future shape of our ministry and mission?
A next stage will be to re-visit the Shaping a Healthy Future Report produced for us in February 2020, in light of these responses. As with many adventures with God, this year has taken us to places we did not expect to be, but through it all God has been with us and Wisdom has been speaking to us.
Can we take time to listen carefully to her voice and allow her insight to shape our individual, congregational and societal life in our gradually unlocking world?