January 2022

~ UNDER CONSTRUCTION ~

I love those fixer upper style TV shows. You know the ones I mean? Where they take the worst looking or smallest or least practical house in the neighborhood and change it into one that everyone would want – and you get to follow along in the process. Everything gets started with demo day – when all the underutilized and impractical and just plain ugly is stripped away and the house is down to the bones, all wooden frame, stone, steel and brick. There is always so much promise on demo day. Afterwards, we get to watch as “the experts” plan and rebuild. There is always some unexpected drama in those shows, too – the floors they were planning to sand have to be replaced or the basement floods or the room they were planning to use as a drumming and underwater basket weaving studio has to be scrapped so the fireplace can be installed up to code in the nursery…

Growing in faith is like living as a continuous fixer-upper. We all start out with good bones, in the image of our creator. And some of us went to Sunday School as a child or joined youth group in High School or college. Maybe you made a decision to spend more time investigating your faith later in life. Maybe you just started exploring, cautiously, by showing up on Sunday. Maybe this is the year you plan to read through the Bible. Or perhaps you have had your Spiritual Practice blueprints for a long time but feel the need to keep revising or expanding. There is always a new perspective and different way to look at things.

I imagine, depending on where you are in life, you might have had some old walls to take down. I know that I do… Some of you might still be pulling the coverings off of old wounds. Maybe from the way the you learned about theology or interpretation of the Bible you are still working to pry up the nails that held you down. I don’t know about you, but I have whole lot of demo to do still. A whole lot of old ideas and old ways needed to be discarded as I begin to think about where to start pouring new footers and assessing what needs to be reframed.

I wonder how many of us look nothing like the creation that we planned to be when we began construction? In this third year of the global pandemic, a lot of us are a little worn around the edges, threadbare, shabby, even. If this is you, I want to tell you this, my dear friends, there is no television designer who has anything on the one who created you. The one who formed you exactly as you are and as you are meant to be. And if you feel like something within you is cracking, remember that it’s only when the walls have been removed and the doors thrown open that you can truly imagine the creation that God conceived.

My prayer for you and for me in these most unprecedented of unprecedented times is that we continue to always be works in progress. That we are always ready to start the next project, even as we preserve the bones of the previous ones. I pray that we remain steadfast in our desire to do God’s will as revealed through the Holy Spirit as we do our part in constructing the already and not yet dominion of God. And I pray that we never forget that God loves us down to our very bones.

~Rev Brae


If you would like to read the full issue of January Voices Newsletter please email staff@ucc-worcester.org