Real Mission: When Things End
With deep gratitude I give thanks for the many who made our partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools as Community Champions at John P. Parker Elementary School (JPP) possible at this difficult time. Since March 23rd, a small group of physically distanced volunteers have been distributing your donations three days a week in the circle drive at JPP, and this Friday, May 29th, our time at the school will end.
We have grown close with one another while donning masks and gloves and safely passing bags of shelf-safe foods through car windows. It is amazing to see people’s smiles and the many children who have benefited from community generosity.
Countless people have helped make this small endeavor possible, and as we prepare to wrap up this time of resource distribution, I find myself asking, “What do you do when things end?” and more specifically, “What do Christians do when things end?"
The reality is that some things end very well, pleasant, and timely, and some other things end poorly, with distress and heartache. But the way we respond to endings, can change the way we feel about letting go of what was.
First, he thanked God for all that had been. Then, in humility, he acknowledged his deep agony at seeing things come to a close. Next, he reassured his friends and followers that all would be well, even in the midst of suffering. And finally, he promised that the Holy Spirit would empower them to do even greater things in the future than they had done before. He taught them to lay down their swords, and offer forgiveness, and look to God to make a new beginning out of the end of something else.
Because that is what God does, God makes things new.
This unprecedented time in which we find ourselves has brought about the end of many things. And like before, some things will end well, and others will end very poorly, but I pray we take heed of Jesus’ call to do our part in how it all turns out. In the midst of great change, we are being given the opportunity to end things well; to end things in the way that Jesus taught us, so that, with God, we can make new beginnings.
We end as Jesus did, with gratitude, humility, faithfulness, compassion, forgiveness, and hope. We end with the conviction that no one is beyond redemption and there is nothing that God cannot do. We may have to put our hand to the plow, we may have to get out of the way, but rest assured, as things end, that which remains is a chance to begin again.
“…let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made…” - Book of Common Prayer, pg. 28
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