In the Midst of New Dimensions
When so many things feel new and I am not quite sure how to take the next steps forward into all the newness, I like to think of hymns of the Church that remind me of the God who is already ordering my steps, and I need only be open to walking with our Divine Guide. My personal favorite hymn is “In The Midst of New Dimensions,” and it is actually relatively new by hymn standards, having been written in 1985, but I remember singing it a lot growing up. This hymn was sung at my ordination, and we sang it here at St. Paul when I was installed as your Pastor. The first verse and chorus goes like this: “
In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways, who will lead the pilgrim peoples wandering in their separate ways? God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles sore, We your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.”
I like this hymn because anytime I enter into something new, even if I feel like I have done everything I can to be prepared there is a part of me that feels like I am barreling forward into the unknown, and that can feel pretty overwhelming. This beloved hymn reminds me that indeed, we are kind of barreling forward in this life wandering into relatively unknown futures, but so goes our God with us as a fiery, rainbow pillar! God goes with us and is perfectly ready to lead us through wildness and an ever changing world, because God created the world to be just that way. God leads us as we try to be peacemakers, and community builders, and healers, and innovators, and all those things we know God is calling us to be but that we don’t yet know how to do.
This summer I think I will be humming and singing this hymn a lot, because everything feels new again. This month it will be my joy to celebrate having been the Pastor at St. Paul for 2 years, but in so many ways it feels like we’re starting a new journey together as a gathering Christian community as the immediate flood waters of Covid-19 begin to recede. None of us can know what this next months and years will hold, but what we can sing and know of our God for sure is this,
“Should the threats of dire predictions cause us to withdraw in pain, may your blazing phoenix spirit resurrect the church again. God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles sore. We your people, ours the journey, now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.”
We go, together, into new dimensions, and God goes with us. Thanks be to God. Amen.