Read Acts 7:44-53.
At UKIRK Greensboro we’re spending time this year reading God, Improv, and the Art of Living by MaryAnn McKibben Dana. We’re learning to look at how God is living and moving and breathing in the world in ways that we might not even have initially considered to be God’s actions. We’re looking for the grace in plans completed and plans gone awry.
In verse 48 Stephen tells the church that God doesn’t dwell in the spaces we create. College ministry may mean experiencing church outside of a steepled building for the first time in our lives, an idea that can be jarring. (I recall worshipping with a congregation in a school gym for the first time in my life while I studied abroad during college. I had to adapt my thinking about what church is, and therefore, God, during that time away from my big-steeple building.)
And yet, the idea that God doesn’t just dwell inside the walls of the churches we build is freeing. There is hope in the freedom that God isn’t contained in the spaces and thoughts and decisions of our creation. Dana quotes actor Amy Poehler, who offers, “We all think we’re in control of our lives, and that the ground is solid beneath our feet, but we are so wrong. Improvising reminds you of that over and over again.”*
May we find grace in the things we can’t control or didn’t create…because God is most certainly there, too.
God of Surprises, shake us up. Leave the building and push us out the doors, too. Open us to the wildness of your freedom. Make us improvise so that we may truly live. Amen.
Rev. Katie Barrett Todd
Campus Minister & Executive Director
* Dana, MaryAnn McKibben. God, Improv, and the Art of Living. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018).