Our Common Life: Looking Toward the Horizon

Just yesterday, I slid behind the wheel and drove west from Cedar Rapids toward Des Moines at sunset. A few wispy clouds danced around the bright, shining, setting sun. I don’t have to tell most of you how beautiful this was. Though Iowa lacks dramatic landscapes like mountain ranges and oceans, there is a subtle beauty to the summer sunset over the wide open plains that cannot easily be rivaled.

As you might imagine, the bright sun combined with no cloud cover made seeing in the distance a bit difficult. The sun always managed to peek around the visors, no matter how I twisted and turned them, making my vision a little blurry. Sleep deprivation may have contributed to this, too.

The full vision of this radical beauty was just out of my full sight. I knew how beautiful the landscape was, but the brightness of the sun obscured it.

Sounds a lot of like our vision for the future of the church, doesn’t it? There is something amazing and beautiful out there at the horizon, but we can’t quite see all of it. We might pick up the orangy-pinks lighting up the clouds; we might see the shadows fall against the trees dappled by the late-day sunlight. But, the sun, like God, is a little too bright for us to get the full picture.

Maybe it’s better this way. If we saw it all, we might not be able to handle it. So, we press on, driving one mile at a time, seeing the views we CAN see.

What visions for the church can YOU see despite the shining sun in your eyes?

What do you think God calls us to just beyond that horizon?

Nicole Havelka
Associate Conference Minister for Youth and Young Adult Ministries

One comment on “Our Common Life: Looking Toward the Horizon

  1. Kenneth E. Briggs Jr. on said:

    My visions of the UCC are seen in the eyes of the folks of the church when they catch understanding of who we are as God’s family in the UCC. The other day I was talking to an individual who had been a member of the UCC for several years but she had no understanding of the historical theological journey of the UCC. I began to share that story, as we also reflected on the gospel in relation to the story, and I saw the vision and excitement come alive. As we departed she told me, “I now understand for the first time in 40 years why I am a member of this church (the UCC). So many of our folks have no understanding of the historical journey of the UCC I think we must teach the story so the vision of the future can come alive.

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