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Bridging the Gap
Making All Things New

 I am looking forward to the UCC General Synod 2023. When I consider the theme “Making All Things New,” I am reminded that God’s children are part of a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). I consider the words of Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Unfortunately, we often get stuck on the last word of a sentence and we lose perspective of the spirit of all that is being said. I turned to Psalm 27. The last two verses grabbed hold of me. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Making all things new calls us to look forward in hope of what will be. Even in the midst of adversity (as David experienced) we can have confidence in the Lord. Let me suggest one more thought from the Psalm. “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Ponder that line. How often do we lose sight of the goodness of God’s created order? How often do we look with negativity at the divisive and antagonistic culture in which we live? General Synod 2023 could be a time to see God making all things new… if we choose to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. God is present and in our midst. God is still speaking God’s love into the world. This family (and that is what we are) has the opportunity to be the incarnation of God’s extravagant love. Please look at your brothers and sisters and see the handiwork of God at work. Whether we are  progressive or conservative, we are “God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Let us be the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and be a blessing to every life we touch. We are a faith community, a family, of “Extravagant Welcome.” We remember our words, “No matter who you are, or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here.” 

The bridge is the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman bridge that is 890 feet above the Colorado River just south of the Hoover Dam. This picture is in the middle of the process of the bridge being built. AMAZING!

The UCC has an amazing opportunity to make something new. Like the bridge, there are a lot of parts that need to come together, but the Master Engineer has it all worked out. We just need to be willing participants in the work. Willingly building to bridge the divide. It looks like hard and anxious work; however, it is a feat that brings extravagant welcome to the world.