Author: Jeanne Lounsbury
He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’” Luke 5: 36-39
As McKenzie Lecture guest, Larry Rasmussen, launched into his November 15 sermon, “In the Midst of New Dimensions,” I listened to, then read and re-read the scripture for the day. I didn’t quite understand it, which is usual for me when reading the Bible. But Larry unfolded the scripture with numerous examples that rang true in my heart. By the end of the sermon, I decided that Larry was trying to get us to understand that the world will not return to “normal” as we seem to yearn for. Jesus spent much of his teachings attempting to get his followers to think differently and challenge assumptions on conventional thoughts with disease, the poor, women, and sinners. Accept the changes that are coming, put on a new garment, put the wine into a new skin. Yes, it may be uncomfortable and hard, but we need not fear the future. We do need to “put on our boots, grab a clip board, enter a new dimension and calmly plot the resurrection.”
Larry’s words of hope and forward thinking emphasize that it is up to us to re-think our approach in dealing with global pandemics, climate change, white privilege, gender identity, and mass uncertainty in the world. My thought is, “What better place than First Congregational Church UCC Boulder to lead us into our new normal?” FCC is founded on principles that provide the framework of active engagement in the life ahead. Six covenants that we stand by and support – Inclusive Language, Just Peace, Open & Affirming, Whole Earth, Accessible to All and W.I.S.E. – provide the foundation. In addition to the covenants, FCC supports issues associated with racism, immigration, local community action and global concerns that provide much of the structure.
Supporting FCC with our time, talents and giving allows us to move into the New Dimension. We may perhaps move with trepidation and anxiety, but we move with the support group of like-minded people who can tap into our spirit, settle in for the long haul and address the new world. As Larry concludes, “hone skills for weaving a new cloth and tanning new wine skins.” I believe we have the support structure to do this with First Congregational Church UCC, Boulder.
God, please lead us into the future alongside our friends at First Congregational Church with hope and anticipation.