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私はイスラエル人のために多くの共感を感じています。彼らはエジプトから来て、通電し、興奮し、高揚し、恐怖を感じる。彼らは紅海を渡った後にアドレナリンに飛び上がる、彼らは敵が波の下で掃討されるのを見て、勝利を感じている。そして、彼らは砂漠に到着し、彼らはモーゼに目を向ける、彼らの大胆不敵なリーダー、ヤハウェへの直系を持っている人、この奇跡的なことを管理し、彼らは言う、「オーケーマン!次は何だ?計画は何ですか??」モーゼは彼らを見ている。そしてシュラッグ。そして国民は... それが好きじゃない。この状況でイスラエル人を裁くことになっているのは皆知ってる。おお、小さな信仰の者よ!しかし、私はあなたに言わなければならない、私は彼らのために感じる。計画はいいね指導者に計画を立ててほしいです。特に、この時点で、国境がいつどのように開き直るかについて、指導者に何らかの計画を立ててみたいと思います。私の知る限りでは、そのようなことは存在しません。そして、なぜ私はよく分かりません。私には、いくつかの委員会は、どこかに座って、我々は再開のフェーズ 1、そしてフェーズ2のために打つ必要がある基本的な指標を把握することができ、彼らはそれらのフェーズのように見えることを理解し、その後、彼らはその計画が何であるかを教えてくれる。しかし、おそらくこれは実際にはかなり難しいです。なぜなら、今のところ、そのようなものは存在しないからです。だから、1年以上私たちの家族を見たことがない、一年以上家に帰っていない人、一年以上私たちの愛する人を抱きしめてない人は、それ以上何もできないし、座って、私たちがそうするかもしれないときに不思議に思います。そして毎月21日に国境閉鎖が延びるたびに、私はもう少し悲しく、さらにイライラする。計画を立てる必要がある。今 — 知事と首相と大統領と首相と首相が自分の裏庭で何が起こっているのかとまともに手を握っていることを認識し、国境について泣き言することは、おそらくオンタリオ州の両方でCovidのケースの状態を考えると、少し利己的ですミシガン州だ私たちの指導者は、火災を消し、巨大な割合の危機に対処しようとしています。それは私が羨ましくない仕事であり、その一部がどのように扱われているかについての私の欲求不満にかかわらず、このことを歩んできた人々は私の深い感謝と敬意を払っています。しかし、危機に対応しながらも、リーダーが今やる必要があることの一部が、楽しみなのだろうか。そしてビジョンをキャスティングする。そして、希望の言葉で話す。希望ですべてをフレーミング。それはいつも逆だったように感じる。「ワクチンは効果的だ!しかし、ワクチン接種を受けた人がウイルスを感染できるかどうかはまだわかりません。」「何百万人もの人々がJとJにうまく反応しました!でも6人が血栓を手に入れたので、私たちはそれを一時停止しています」私はそれを得る。私たちは注意の側で誤ったい。未知のものがたくさんあるし、私たちは賢明で注意する必要があります。誰も国民を誤った安心感と不自由感に誘いたくはない。私たちは、物事を真剣に捉えていても、ルールに従うことは素晴らしいことではないことを証明しました。しかし、物語をひっくり返すのは仕方ないけど、希望の中で話し、将来に向けてビジョンをキャスティングする時間を費やすなら、実際にはもっと動機づけられるのではないでしょうか。少なくとも私たちが目指しているものを知っていれば、目標があれば計画があれば、もっと喜んでバックルダウンするだろう。ワクチンの周りの物語がそれよりもずっと祝賀的で希望に満ちていれば、ワクチンを受けない人がどれくらいいるのか心配するだろうか?ストーリーが「これはどれくらい素晴らしいですか」と少ない「ここですべてが間違っている可能性があります」だったら?そして、それは疑問に思っています... 私たちはしばしば多くの時間を費やし、何が間違っているのか、そして将来のために希望のあるビジョンをキャストするのに十分な時間がないのですか?そして、それは変化を実現するために協力する私たちの能力を妨げますか?挑戦的で議論の余地のある問題に関する私たちの会話がより希望と少ない恐怖、より多くのビジョンと少ない不安、より前進する勢いと少ない現在の非難によって囲まれた場合、私たちは多分より多くの人々からより多くの牽引力を得るのだろうか?怒りのスペースが必要だ と嘆きと正直さ。しかし、それは話が終わる場所が多すぎますか?どう思ってるか興味あるそれは、教会では、悪者、醜い、罪深い人に焦点を当てることは信じられないほど簡単であろうと、代わりに私たちは将来のビジョン、エシャトロジカルな想像力によって、希望によって、私たちが行うすべてのことを枠組むように呼ばれています。イエスとパウロとヨハネは、「ここに何が起こっているのですか」と言います。「では今どう生きていきますか?」セミナリーでは,常に恵みノートで説教を終え,常に希望をもって終わらせることを学びました。一方では、その希望はそこで最も真実だからです。しかし、私はまた、人々は恐怖や罪悪感よりも希望に反応するからだと思います。希望は常により良いモチベーターになります。今ちょっと希望を使えたよいろんなことだプランを使えるよ

Laura de Jong

Laura de Jong serves as pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Grand Haven, Michigan.

16 Comments

  • Joan Bouwma says:

    How I agreed with you! I always do better with a plan as it gives me something positive to think about, to do, to build on. A plan gives me a sense of control when everything around me seems out of control. A plan gets me through most days. New of the good that is happening in our churches, in our community, in our country, and in the world usually takes a back seat to the stories of violence, chaos, and dysfunction. But God is at work in all of us and we need to recognize and celebrate how he is working out his plan to bring his kingdom to this earth. He has a plan.

  • mstair says:

    Grateful for your reminder of folks yearning for home and family …
    I will offer prayer for resolution.

    Your thoughts brought up this realization … our Government “by the people” currently has nearly half the “government” (45%) with no vaccine and no plans to get one …
    Their plan?

    Resolve nothing, wait for the vindication that it led to damaged DNA, and then celebrate their rightness?
    Watch the other robotic 1/2 half of the country blindly succumb to the compromise of liberty and then delight in their own asymptomatic infection?
    Quietly acquiesce to eventual world-wide realization that – like cancer, there are some diseases that never give way to herd immunity?

    It seems Our Lord has another way …

    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phillipians 2)

  • John vanStaalduinen says:

    Since this is a political opinion piece, my comment is: how is the Biden Church working out compared to the Trump Church?

    • Laura de Jong says:

      John,
      This is a political piece only inasmuch as I’m wondering what the role of any political leader is (or any kind of leader for that matter). Nothing is pointed at one specific person. Nor am I trying to conflate politics with the church…simply querying if the same “hope framework” that exists in the church could or should carry over into our political conversations, not because our ultimate hope rests in politics, but because hope generally prompts better responses from people than fear.

    • George Vink says:

      John, if, and it’s always an if, if I’m reading your comment correctly, it’s not helpful!

      • John vanStaalduinen says:

        I think you read it correctly, the Biden Church is failing miserable and spreading doom and gloom news Where as the Trump Church was always trying to spread optimistic news. By the way, I learned there was a Trump Church right here on this ‘reformed’ journal blog, very informative.

  • Rodney Haveman says:

    Laura,
    I appreciate this because I am always despereate for a plan, but one thing I’ve learned about myself is I want that plan because it gives me a false sense of control. If we have a plan, then we can control what happens and where we’re going, but what if we’re not in control? What if control is an illusion?
    The second thing I’ve realized is people desire truth over a plan. We can handle what’s happening if you tell us what you know at this time, what you don’t, and how much it could change in the future. In other words, you’re working on it, but you can’t guarantee anything because you’re not in control.
    I also think that this truth requires a consistent integrity. You tell the truth over and over and over again, because when it counts, when people need to trust you with their lives, they will because you’ve been honest with them as much as we can expect or hope.
    Finally, you are 100% right, hope is more powerful than fear or guilt, but hope cannot be a wish or a dream. It must be real, honest, and full of integrity. Only then can hope drive us to a future that we can believe in.
    Thanks

    • Laura de Jong says:

      Thanks Rodney. I’ve been wondering along those same lines – how do we speak in hope without resorting to false optimism. But to your point about truth-telling, what strikes me about the pandemic/vaccine narrative is that there are two ways to tell falsehoods. On the one hand, the seriousness of the pandemic could be and was gravely downplayed. But I think the effectiveness of the vaccine, and the hope that that gives, has been downplayed as well. We’ve tended to focus on the negative side effects or all the unknowns, even as there is overwhelming data that tells a story of incredible success. So how do we measure the truth of the unknown against the truth of the known? Or balance caution with hope?

      • Rodney Haveman says:

        Thanks Laura,
        I agree. In the beginning we (larger culture) undersold the severity of the virus (even as those who were experts told us how severe it could be) and now we undersell the achievement of the vaccine (again, even as the experts tell us how marvelous it is). I wonder why that is. It seems that the first action comes from wishful thinking, maybe from all of us … It won’t come here. It won’t be too long. etc. And then we spent so much time trying to make folks see how serious it was/is, we never turned to the good news or hope that is available to us now with simple action in getting a vaccine. The media doesn’t help (if it bleeds it leads).
        I wonder if we sometimes spend so much time trying to emphasize the seriousness of sin in our church that we struggle to turn to the good news of hope, eschatology, etc.

  • George Vink says:

    Laura,
    As someone who shares particularly the need to have a more open Canadian border, we’ve gone ahead and made plans for a late June “crossing no matter what…..” It gives us a sense of planning, expectation, hope…………even if then it’ll get dashed or delayed. Thanks for your thoughts and felt though that last night’s address to congress injected some hope if we’d get beyond whatever political blindnesses adhering to our observations.

  • RLG says:

    Thanks, Laura, for sharing your hope and desire for a plan. I agree that focusing on the negative is often a downer, although often necessary. But let’s lean toward the positive. As to a plan, we certainly are not at a loss, for a plan. As we saw last night our president has a great plan that the rich will pay for. Let’s ask them. As to the church’s eschatological plans, we have an abundance of them. There’s the a-mill plan, the post mil plan, the historic pre mil plan, the dispensational pre mil plan, the pan mil plan. Just pick one and be happy. It’s too bad the church has a hard time agreeing to the same plan and hope. Maybe that’s why people outside of the church sees the church as such a negative force in our society. What a conundrum for the church.

  • JK says:

    Laura for your thoughts and questions,
    As I look to this, I see 2 things.
    – in the Church, we understand grace, salvation, and look expectantly to perfection in heaven while looking and experiencing God sightings and his presence on this side of eternity. Ending worship in a moment of grace and hope is the best thing we can do to reset, gain strength, and bolster ourselves to the onslaught we will experience as we walk out the doors. Thank you for continuing to do this every week! Yes, this is where our attention and efforts need to stay focused
    – the press and much of our political leadership understand that in the (sinful) world, blood and gore sells. It sells media, it sells fear, and it sells leadership crafting more ways to keep or assume more control, and it sells short term memory via manipulating the emotions and cranking up the drama. For the press, it sells the chaos, and for the political world, too often it sells a replacement savior. They often are their own worst enemies, but they both understand the control aspect and that they need need each other. Our political leaders may have good intentions and will try to sell some optimism, but the reality is the plan is so lofty, we begin to be skeptical from the start and easily dismiss or forget the priorities laid out.

    In short, it is a power struggle – within ourselves and within our institutions – but it isn’t really about us.

    I realize that this may not be super helpful on the surface, but I have found that I too was exasperated until I began to understand it for what it is and not put added credence into it. My education was in Political Science and Economics. I used to get super charged about the theory, and the rhetoric. It took God rocking my world to get me to surrender and let it all go. (One of my daughters went 2 rounds with cancer before 12 years old. She grown and married now – in good health, but the lessons learned as a Dad haven’t dimmed.)

    I don’t have a plan for you specifically. But if helpful, this has become my plan. As I age, it has become more about observation and letting go. I find that as participate in what God has called me to and watch, I marvel more at God’s grace in my life and also the Devil’s desperate battle plans. The war being waged in front of us and in us, is truly epic and so far beyond us! It is most easily seen in our press, politics and sadly – too often in our churches. To keep from being consumed by these institutions, I find I must focus more on gratitude for what is immediately in front of me, followed immediately by finding more ways to show dignity to those around me. This has not been easy.
    Don’t get me wrong, I still have ideals and preferred outcomes. I am not pessimistic, throwing in the towel or slowing my political involvement. But for inner peace, I have found that I can look only to the evidence of God transforming me, his work with his Church and people, and focus less on our institutions – for none satisfy. It is a matter of letting it go and watching God work. I may not always get it at the time, but I am willing to let it go, and thus, in time be good with it.

  • Gerrit Van Dyke says:

    I am bothered by fact that there so many people who will not get vaccinated for various reasons including that they think the whole thing is a hoax. How can a government plan when dealing with irrational behavior. Both presidents worked to get us all vaccinated but somehow haven’t reached a lot of people on the necessity of that. The wrench in the works is that every new case of CoVid-19 is another chance for a mutation that is immune to the vaccine. The CDC does not want that to happen so we need to start all over.

  • Paul DeVries says:

    Thanks Laura, great article. I particularly like the lines, “And Moses looks at them. And shrugs. And the people don’t like that.” I feel like I do a lot of shrugging these days. If God had a plan for Moses and his ancient people, I guess he must have a plan for me and the church today too.

    I am going to share portions of your article with my Council tonight.

    Thanks.

    Paul DeVries

    BTW, when you finally get a plan, please share it. To quote a wise woman, “I could use a plan.”

  • Daniel Meeter says:

    Laura, I don’t know what to think about this post. On the one hand, Biden has been attempting to present a vision, a plan, and hope. And many people are responding. I may add that people responded to Trump because he too presented a vision and hope, (of a sort I did not like) though only the rudiments of a plan. I think Hillary Clinton failed to present any of them, and I don’t expect any from Justin Trudeau. But my church experience has made me very wary of “visionary leaders”. They have done my denomination very little good. Maybe it was very good that Moses had no plan. (By the way, let me recommend Zora Neale Hurston’s flawed but excellent book, Moses Man of the Mountain.)

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