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In the meantime...

At the NAM conference (see yesterday's post for overview) Karen Smith took as her theme 'ministry in the meantime' and spoke on two threads: waiting with Christ and walking with Christ.  The meantime - the space between now and what we dream of and, maybe (my thoughts here) between the resurrection and the eschaton.  The now and not yet.  She spoke of Eugene Peterson's concept of the 'ministry of small talk' and I found myself reminded of a phrase I have used about 'the God of small things.'  It isn't all about zillions of conversions and streams of baptisms, it's about the little things we do 'in the meantime' about the everyday actions, words, thoughts; about the things we get right and the things we struggle with.

She used the parable of the growing seed (Mark 4, just before the mustard seed) and that while the person gets on with everyday life (sleeping and rising) the seed grows, they know not how, but grow it does.  Back in the days when I was a Sunday School teacher we spoke of planting seeds, alluding to the parable of the sower/soils and the epistular (is there such a word?) allusion to Paul planting the seed, Apollos watering it but God making it grow.  But this week I was taken in a new direction with it all - the seed of a smile, a gentle word, an hour at a bedside; the everyday cycle of getting on with the job...

There is much waiting going on here in Dibley, folk on hospital waiting lists, folk waiting for their children's weddings and new babies, folk waiting for the final breathe... but in the meantime...


God of the meantime

Who shares with us the waiting

And the walking

And the wondering

Grant us patience

Grant us courage

Grant us hope


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