Volume 33, Issue 4
The Phases of the Moon
My daughters are studying the night sky as part of their science curriculum for school. They are learning about constellations, planets, and satellites. On Friday, my wife, Amanda, set up a lesson for them to learn the phases of the moon. They read about those phases, used matching cards to play a game about the phases of the moon, and created their own moon phase chart. When I came home on Friday afternoon last week, they began to ramble on about a waxing gibbous and a waning crescent and I realized at that moment that my children are already far smarter than I am.
As I thought about the phases of the moon and how it goes through a cycle of birth and death every month, I thought too about the phases of a church community and the journey we are on at Royal Lane. Sometimes we have to grieve a loss and sometimes we have to stay strong through the pains of change. But this change is the rhythm of life, the rhythm of ministry.
There are days when beloved church members die, when the budget is tight, and when disagreements seem intense. It is in those moments when we don’t see anything up in the night sky. Everything is in the shadows. But there are also moments when the glow of the heavens is so intense that everything is illuminated and we can see clearly our mission and vision. We feel that everything we are doing is right in line with God’s plan for us. People are energized and everything is smooth. But, for the most part, a majority of the cycle of the moon happens in the “in-between,” with a little light and a little darkness, with more light and more darkness. That is the difficulty and the invitation to being created by God.
We just had our Quarterly Church Conference to approve our 2019 budget. Although the budget was approved and done so with optimistic energy, it is clear we aren’t where we want to be financially. It might feel like there is more shadow to the moon than light. But, even in the darkness, we know the moon is still present even when we can’t see it. God is with us, even if God seem to be behind the scenes. Yet, I believe that we have the right Committees, Committee Chairs, Deacons, and Staff to realize a season that is aglow with opportunity. We have an opportunity this year to right size our budget, to solidify our mission and vision, and to celebrate our church’s unique presence in Dallas. And if you need hope about this, just look into the night sky.