"When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was complete chaos.”
(Genesis 1:1-2 NRSVue)
The creating God brings order out of chaos, life out of death, and light from darkness. Sometimes the way God works to order the chaos is spectacular, nearly miraculous. Look at the way cells in a body can coalesce into a living being, so complex and full of vitality. Look at the night sky and see the way that stars and galaxies move in a cosmic dance. Witness the way God can knit together people in a community that expresses love and grace to one another.
Sometimes, chaos is vanquished through much more pedestrian actions. Over the last couple of days, the Southeastern Iowa Synod gather virtually in assembly to be the Body of Christ and to do things like adopt a budget, make changes to governing documents, and consider reports and resolutions to administer our mission. Honestly, not very exciting. “Spectacular” or “nearly miraculous” would not be words that would jump to mind in describing what occurred. And yet, it was an act of bringing order out of chaos, which means it was all part of the work of God.
This coming Sunday, May 21, at about 11 AM, our congregation will gather for our Annual Meeting. We will do much the same work that the Synod did as we adopt a budget, elect leaders, and approve changes to our governing documents. It is an important part of our mission. It provides order in a world that is so often dedicated to chaos.
When the church attends to these matters, we are not wasting our time, or (as one pastor I know calls it) engaging in a “necessary evil.” We are, in fact ordering our community to do the work of Sharing God’s Love. Every household needs order to keep things running, nurture a common purpose, and provide structures that allow us to grow, breathe, and be a healthy expression of God’s people in this time and place.
I hope you will take your place in the sanctuary alongside the other members of this congregation this Sunday at 11 AM. Together, we will work to keep chaos at bay, establish order, and do the work God calls us to do. We will be about God’s business, so it will be a holy gathering.
Tim Olson, Lead Pastor