The chorus from a Celine Dion song has been haunting my psyche this week:
"But what do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?"
I can hear Celine's voice belting out those words as I contemplate the first of a series of sermons from the book of Exodus. I can hear those words as I think about my own life and recent choices. I can hear those words when I ponder the life of the church in general and my little congregation specifically. Taking chances is a universal experience that we embrace when we come to that place of choosing to stay where it's safe and known or break out and take a chance that the unknown will be even better.
ELCC took a chance on hiring a woman pastor 5 years ago - one who had never pastored her own church before. And we continue to take chances together. The Disciples Church Extension Fund (our mortgage holder) has taken a chance on us in refinancing our loan and lowering our mortgage payments for 3 years. I'm taking a chance in volunteering a pay cut for the rest of this year. We're taking a chance on beginning a new, multi-age youth program. So I'm mindful that sometimes we just come to that place where there's nowhere else to go. We can't go back, only forward. But the bridge is out, and so we jump, hoping that we will land on solid ground. Sometimes we just have nothing else to lose and everything to gain.
Our text from Exodus this week gives us two such examples in the midwives who refused to kill the Hebrew babies at the birthing stool and the mother of Moses who defied the orders and kept him hidden until she could no longer do so. She took another chance in setting him adrift on the Nile. Like these courageous women, we find that the journey of faith is forever taking us deeper into the call of God. So what do you say to taking chances?
Take a chance on being in worship this Sunday - if not at ELCC, then wherever God calls you to be.
Love and Grace,