Advent 9

“O Lord GOD, cease, I beg you!

How can Jacob stand?

He is so small!”

6The LORD relented concerning this;

“This also shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.

Amos 7:5-6

Sometimes I feel this way about the church. Don’t get me wrong: I love the church…so much so that I’ve attached my career to it.

But I worry about it. Once, someone quoted a statistic to me about how many years it would be until the last Presbyterian died off. Based on how quickly the PC(USA) was losing members, they calculated the rate, and it comes out to somewhere conceivably within my lifetime.

Now, one of the more disturbing things about this statistic was that someone had taken the time to do the calculation rather than actually spending that time trying to DO SOMETHING about it.

But I do worry for the church, Church with a big “C”, not just the Presbyterians. So I feel a little bit like Amos, watching the people of God struggle and crying out, “How can the church stand? She is so small.” Against the tide of disbelief, disenchantment, division, injustice and greed and consumerism, individualism and death and…you name it…how can she stand?

One of my colleagues and I were talking about this, and he says I may be more of a pessimist, that maybe we are on the edge of some big change, like the Reformation. Maybe we are.

Oh, I hope we are. Because I really do love this strange gathering of people who make up the church.

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