Each season brings new challenges and opportunities. As May winds to a close, we move closer to summer. What will the next season hold for you? What challenges lie ahead? What opportunities? Will there be vacations, or will a lack of time or money stand in the way of respite? Regardless of what the summer brings, each of us must get ready for it.
Getting ready for something is a shared experience. Everyone has to get ready for something. Many people get ready for work or school each day. Others get ready to go out, or to stay in. When preparing to take a summer vacation, we do various things to prepare. For example, it might involve a reservation and it requires packing a bag.
In each case, getting ready means thinking ahead. To pack for a trip means thinking about what will happen. What is the weather where you are going? It might be warm at home, but if the destination is cooler, a light jacket would be nice. What is the dress code? What are the activities? The answers to these questions determine whether a suit, a bathing suit, or golf clubs are appropriate.
We get ready for summer or for a trip by thinking ahead. What about the bigger picture? What about life at University Baptist? How do we prepare the church for 5, 10, or 20 years in the future? What are we doing today to get ready? Are we adjusting the way we function as a church to get ready for what is next? JARC is considering how the church’s constitution and bylaws reflect who we are. But, each of us can take part in this kind of thinking ahead.
Philippians 3:20 reminds us that our “citizenship is in heaven,” but we do not stop life while we wait for eternity. Each day is a gift and an opportunity to get ready for what is next. Where will the church be in the future? If you do not imagine that you will still be around in 20-30 years, are you making provisions for the church in your will?
The decisions we make today will have an enormous impact on the future. We can make decisions to prepare the way for what God has in store for Charlottesville. How will discipleship, faith formation, worship, music, and multigenerational ministry look in the future? Dreaming about what is to come and listening to God in prayer can open us to the work of the Holy Spirit. Then, we get to experience the joy of being part of God’s work.