An abstract image of a metal bridge offers a metaphor for the way in which God shapes our collective decisions – at least that’s the train of thought which it triggered in my imagination after I took the original shot. So if you are willing to go on such an imaginative flight of fancy, let me suggest that the movement in the image is from right to left, like a wave coming ashore towards you as you stand on a beach. With that in mind let’s get to the metal.
The starting point is a set of bars arranged side by side in regular linear order. Left alone they will remain as they are, unchanging, strong and utterly rigid. Changing the shape of cold metal requires energy. A lot of energy. Here the temperature of the steel bars has to rise from ambient to red hot in order for the ‘decision wave’ to form. Once excited and energised each rigid bar becomes malleable and responsive to being shaped very differently; viewed along the edge they rise at different moments creating the trailing wave effect of a decision being made. Then the heating ceases and the metal cools into this very different pattern, and the wave becomes permanent, strong and load-bearing.
There is no doubt in my mind that God is pouring vast amounts of divine energy into the steady-state unchanging shape of the church, heating it up from cold to red hot. We are being reformed and refashioned. More and more people are becoming energised and excited, and when they are they become flexible and willing to be shaped and configured into fresh ways of being church together. Before our eyes and in our time a new reformation decision wave is rising up.