That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’
For some reason, I felt the need to watch the ending of "It's a Wonderful Life," and lo and behold, it was on You Tube.
At some level, regarding Community of Grace, I'd love that the ending of that movie would happen to us. Just when things seem bleak, people would rush in and save the day. I would love if that happened, but in some way, that's only a part of the story.
As we all know, this story is about George Bates, a man with a good heart that kept getting slammed by the world. At some point he wishes he wasn't born and an angel gives him his wish: he gets to see a world where he never existed and what a bleak world it was.
The moral of the story: that even if we think we are insignificant, we are the thread that can determine the fate of others.
At some level, I tend to think that the congregation has been a failure and I've also wondered about my own talents and abilities. But I also tend to think about the impact we have made. We made a difference to Jim, the guy who has been a faithful attender. He was estranged from the church because of his sexuality and now he has a place. And then I think of the fact that Dan and I were able to minister to many of our friends after the suicide of someone we knew.
I think we have made a difference, whether we prosper in the next year or so, remains to be seen.
For some reason, (actually I know the reason) I am mindful of the parable of the sower. The Sower spreads the seeds among differing soils and the seed is affected by the ground. I think it fell on good soil with Jim. I just hope there are others who have a similar soil.
Even if the church closes, at least I can say I made some difference.