Let me see if I can take your mind back to moments and experiences we have all had causing the rise of feelings and emotions. Recall the first stage school when the classroom seemed so large and the buildings towered over you, when you first started a job, the challenge of being thrust into a new environment and the mixed feelings of excitement and the uncertainty of where you belong, the changes you went through in your teenage years, wondering what all the emotions and feelings were about, feelings misunderstood, or the emotions that coincide with moving from full-time employment to retirement what a disorientating moment. Whatever you look at, there are exchanges, even when with open arms you run towards the change with anticipation and excitement, even in the welcoming there are challenges to cope with.
I came across a word recently which is used by those who have given their lives to study people, the study of various aspects of peoples within past and present societies, the word “liminality”, it’s the word that is used in describing a sense of chaos and ambiguity that a group endures in a time of transition. It is further described at the point during a rite of passage when we become no longer what we were and yet we have not arrived at what we will be, a point of “betwixt and between”. During these moments and associated feelings, these that change us one of the major assesses and I would say helpful ways o dealing with ‘betwixt and between’ is to discover a point of connection, this is highly important in regard to when a community is at its height and is necessary to achieve transformation healthily.
These changes and transformations necessary in our advance and in any journey, turn out well because the culture we live in underpins all and transforms the change with a deep sense of purpose. Without this change falters and falls.
The emotions we feel come out of organisational patterns, rhythms of life seem to get suspended when our expectations and responsibilities change. It is then we need an empowerment to ensure that the experience of change has a sense of solidarity and community rather than in a void where resentment and envy invades.
Therefore to successfully negotiate these moments, that seem to come fast and furious can we, with a sense of purpose ensure advance in the continuation of our journey.
There is no greater narrative that indicates the sense of purpose than we find in the Christ of God, in the midst of major transformation and change declaring a sense of purpose. When Jesus “sweat drops of blood”in the garden, when the creator of the garden becomes the grain of wheat to be planted, to die enabling a new life, resurrection life. At that moment the statement “if this cup” is so powerful, Jesus is looking at the transformation from his perspective and then declares “not my will, but yours”, that purpose becomes the driving purpose that holds all in perspective during change and transformation.
Jesus projects himself and draws his strength from the community of the Godhead, the Trinitarian relationship of community, the covenant of life and states his purpose is to live my life by the will of another. Purpose becomes the stadium and guiding cause but it should always be. A purpose that is greater than self.
So true in our lives also, to discover a purpose, to live by a purpose beyond ourselves is the only way to navigate our journey. Let me say I’m not talking about small visions and goals, our own vision statements and plans, but a purpose that adds value to all of creation. The divine covenant, the invitation of the Father, Son and Spirit is to join a community and be part of a purpose bringing total stability in the times of emotional and transitional challenges that every one of us will participate in.
My desire is that you and I find the purpose of God, the eternal and ultimate intention of God is our purpose for the day in which we live in. That “Christ filling all in all” becomes the purpose of bringing stability to us. For this purpose “No eye has seen, no ear heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2: 9 NIV). What a major impact of this purpose when we deicover and become one with the vast visions of Gods aim and then see our union with this purpose which is not our own to begin with but becomes ours .
Early Christians believed not that the church “had a mission” but that the church was God’s mission in the world, the very living body of Christ, the actual visible embodiment of the good news. All creation groans (Romans 8:22) joining with those purpose and transition. The Trinitarian God in Spirit intercedes for us “with groaning which cannot be uttered” (Rom 8: 26 KJV); “with sighs too deep for words” (NRSV).
The restoration of God’s creation was the reason for the incarnation of the eternal Son and Word of God in Jesus Christ, this being the over riding will of God and this purpose we have been invited to join while becoming one with, thsi purpose that will make stable all for us who believe.
The Apostle Paul and other New Testament writers (as well as Old Testament prophets) elaborate the scope of the purpose being one with God’s larger economy or plan “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Eph. 1: 10 NIV),
For Jesus, finishing God’s work meant his sacrificial death (“ It is finished,” John 19: 30) and the eventual total triumph of the kingdom of God (“ It is done!” Rev 21: 6). We now hold this purpose above all else and celebrate “the finished work” while working and praying “May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as in heaven”, may our stabilising purpose be the will of ANOTHER.