On Being Six Months Old!

6 months

Our Lakelight website was launched half a year ago on July 21st 2017.  The first blog post went up on 5th August, and we’ve been posting a weekly piece ever since (bar one week due to the dreaded ‘flu!). It’s a good time to stop and think about where we are headed, and to thank all our readers, who have dropped in from as far afield as Canada and Vietnam.

To begin with it became clear that Lakelight is a place for truth-telling, where in our Foundations series we examined with grace, the things we as Church and as individual Christians, could do better. And by better, we mean, with love at the centre. A place, too, for building up good practices now that we have cleared the way by being transparent about our ethos of standing with the poor and downtrodden, and eschewing the comfortable and self-satisfied.

Secondly we feel, with Paul, that it is time to embrace being “scum of the earth” apostles, to be concerned more with heart and soul, and less with the fascia of things –  the shiny white teeth and perfect Powerpoint presentations. Instead we want to focus on being counter-cultural by the virtues of reverence, slowing down, listening, holding space, creating encounter with a loving God, and being aware, even as we say what we believe in our hearts needs to change, that this too, should be done in a spirit of good humour and of edifying one another.  This is our focus now in our “Building Lakelight” series, as we begin to explore positive goals.

Sadly, Keren’s own health continues to decline, and it seems she has less and less strength and stamina than ever. This makes the task of creating Lakelight as a charity, adding more to the website, and planning for the day God makes our sanctuary a reality, a difficult one. But that vision remains in her heart, and we will continue to work towards it, albeit in tiny increments.

We thank you all for your commitment and support and ask for your prayers in growing Lakelight into what it is called to be, by the grace of God.

Keren and Rowan, January 2018

photo from Pixabay

On Endings

river-3039546_1280

As the year draws to a close, I am conscious that the Lord has been showing me over the last few months that endings are just as important as beginnings. Indeed we cannot have one without the other, just as we cannot have spring unless the winter precedes it.

Like a relationship, perhaps the old year is also something to end well, before we can begin a new one. Sometimes we have a tendency to run headlong into making resolutions and saying good riddance to the year gone by without having processed things that have happened, or examining where we stand.

Maybe it would be a good practice to keep stillness and silence for a while and look back over the year, taking it all to God in a prayer of examen, seeing what needs to continue and what may be safely left behind, learning before we leap onwards.

This is why we had 14 pieces on how we were not going to run Lakelight, before we started looking in this blog at what we are going to be doing. It is important sometimes to clear the decks, set things in readiness, dig out the foundations, and take a deep breath, before anything new can be set in motion.

This is especially true in our spiritual lives. How can we begin to love, if we have not ended hate? And how can we live peacefully, if we are still suffocating in anxiety? Of course, because the world is cyclical, love itself, along with peace, will help drive out hate and fear, but we have to begin with the (beginning of the) ending. There is no resurrection without crucifixion. I have found this palpable in my preparation for the writing ministry I believe I am coming into. I have had to let go of my intelligence, in order to receive wisdom. To loosen the hold on the strings of my ambitions, in order to begin desiring God’s will.

At the heart of all this talk of endings and beginnings is the idea of kenosis, or self-emptying, which Jesus lived out for us by taking on human form. It is another way of talking about humility, of realising who and what we are, in relation to an infinitely wonderful God, and then taking our very small place in the scheme of things.

So, 2017 has been a year of ups and downs, no doubt, for all of us. There have been beginnings and endings. Some people or animals we loved are no longer with us, this year has been the year of their passing. We will carry that heartbreak the rest of our lives. Some problems have started to show their faces, a diagnosis perhaps, or a troubling crack in a relationship, maybe even a doubt in our faith. Many things will never be the same again. Others are just beginning, a new love, a new venture, a new way of seeing.

2017 is the year that Lakelight began to take shape, becoming a website and blog alongside the vision in my mind. I don’t know what the Lord has in store for it or us in 2018, but I will trust in the God who knows our beginnings from our endings, rather than myself, who has trouble telling my elbow from, well, other anatomical parts. Thank you for being a part of this beginning. I pray that you will have a great ending to 2017 and a wonderful beginning to 2018. God bless us, every one!

Happy New Year!