This series is based on the Vision for Mission in the Eastern Synod 2010-2012.
When I was a young adult I visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. For the first time in my life I sat in front of an IMAX screen, and saw a movie that filled my field of view. It was called To Fly. Without knowing it right away I was floating above tree tops in a hot-air balloon. Then soaring in glider, flying cross-country in a single-engine, and eventually going into orbit in a space ship.
Even now it amazes me that the shape of a wing allows flight. When a motor of some sort pushes the wing forward its shape causes lift; the turbulence intentionally created on the top part of the wing allows the steadier air underneath to raise it skyward.
When the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada chose to chart its course with the help of five pillars the Eastern Synod decided to rearrange its Vision for Mission at the 2010 assembly, to match them. And as we did we were aware that the adjectives are just as important as the nouns; the describing words are as vital as the things to which they refer.
In this case A Spirited reminds us that our discipleship is empowered by the third person of the Trinity. We are lifted up into God's presence when we worship using traditional forms and some newer resources. God's holy wind fills our wings as we study scripture and learn more about the Gospel. We take to flight when we speak to friends, neighbours and co-workers about the faith that has been given to us, and the peace the passes understanding.
As disciples - students, followers, apprentices - we do not rely on our own strength and wisdom, but wait for God's breath to give us life. And the turbulence we feel from time to time is one of the things the Spirit uses to get us off the ground.
Pastor Jim Slack