I amazes me how much we people in the 21st century live in isolation of the world until we are cut off from it. We take so much for granted and then when it is gone we loose our sense of identity. Just reading a book on How The Irish Saved Western Civilization, many things have strcuk me, firstly the way in which the Roman Empire failed to see it world falling aprat around it, and yet when you look at the big picture the loss of values when it moved from senate to empire it seems obvious that it was crumbling, but those involved could not see it. Second thing that stuck me was the connection between the poatoe famine and the loss of a native tongue - my ancestors have suffered for years as a result of that. A loss of language can only result in a loss of culture as to adopt another language is to adopt the deep undergirding values of the culutre that speaks that language. Today my wife and I find oursleves in a simialr situation of loss, we have just left a church and are in the no man's land of many people in NZ at the moment - tryinng to maintain a faith but not being part of a church. Our hope is to move into another church family but getting established takes time. Normaly when we have left a church it has been a result of geographical moving - this time it is soemwhat different we have not physcialy moved house but feel unable to stay involved with the Church we have tried to be a part of.
So why do we feel cut off. Firstly my wife feels it because Church is her Whanau, when she became a Christian at age 14 she saw that it was either the Church or the Marai - and since she wanted to follow Jesus she choose the church, But here undergirding values and culture while adoptin soem of the newness of Church culture still kept some of its old values - Therefore Church became her Whanau - so she is grieving.
As for me well for the past 10 years of my life i have been following a dream of sorts - alogn time ago i felt God was calling me to pastoral ministry, to pastor a church, so i have been on that journey learning what i can, serving where i am able. Now it feels like i have gotten lost along the way, and that it will never happen. Needles to say it feels a bit like a kick in the guts, where did we go wrong.. I am blowed if I know - but I too feel cut off. Church has beena huge part of both our lives - to be Churchless is a sacry prospect - but at the same time we are both reluctant to jump back in until we feel some sense of healing.
Last night i came across a familair passage in Job 19:25-
For I know my Redeemer lives,
and that at the last he
will stand upon the earth;
and after my skin has been destroyed,
then in my flesh I shall see God.