Christ has died.
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again! Alleluia.
The future is hidden from us. Like a couple exchanging vows on their wedding day, we admit to God that we do not know what the years ahead will bring, but we trust in each other's love and commit ourselves to life together.
Nothing separates us from the love of God: not the past, the present or the future; not hardship, betrayal or failure; not even our own most disappointing behaviour.
Therefore, we are not afraid to live toward the future, hidden or not, because God's love is our constant companion. Not even the cross and its life-ending cruelty kept God from being completely one with our experience. Therefore, whatever the future brings, it will always be a future where the present tense is dominant.
The past no longer exists and Christ is no longer dead. And when we arrive in God's future, a voice from the throne of God will intone the present reality:
Christ is risen!
And we will all reply:
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
What this means for us as the corporate people of God is that the institution's future also is in Christ. Whether we are up or down at any particular time is not as significant as the reality that life in all its fullness is going to be the present reality, not only of individuals, but the entirety of God's people.
I can hardly wait!
Grace and peace to you all,
+ Raymond L. Schultz, National Bishop
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