“My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.” -Reepicheep, the Mouse, in C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Grace and Peace, Bethesda!

Reepicheep the valiant mouse was captivated by a vision. His mission was clear: to reach Aslan’s country far to the East of Narnia. Aslan the Lion, Son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea had called his little mouse home.

The clarity of the vision and certainty of Aslan’s call was everything to this diminutive deep-sea adventurer. Reepicheep knew the circumstances of his voyage were not within his control. The great ship Dawn Treader could fail. His little mouse paddle boat might sink. His own limbs would not be fueled by sheer will and tenacity forever. Reepicheep could not promise the outcome of his efforts, but he knew in which direction his little snout would point: into the rising sun.

Bethesda, we are charting a new course, but we are not rolling out a new message. “Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!”

What we are praying toward and planning for is a vision to navigate by Son-light. Our congregational nose is pointed toward the Risen Son, Jesus Christ, and his great mercy and love. The denominational vessel could fail. We might find it difficult to navigate by the same instruments and maps we have inherited from our heritage of worship, ministry, theology and congregational structures. We can certainly expect our four paws or two legs to be outmatched by the “spirit of the age” or the “aging of our bodies.”

But, friends in Christ, I know this one thing: “Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). I know the glorious riches of the mystery revealed in Jesus: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The Risen Son is among us, within us, before us. Whatever sinks into the sea, sinks into the depths of God’s death-defeating love! Whatever yet sails, sails in and towards the hope of glory in the East: Christ’s country.

Crew Meetings are returning this month during the Sunday fellowship coffee hour. I hope you will join the conversation as we point our noses in the same direction.

Shalom, Pastor Tom