The title of this reflection is taken from the poem, Two Roads Diverged, by American Poet, Robert Frost. I first read the poem in High School. At the time, it was just one of many assignments we had in English Class. I knew that it spoke of a time of decision with long-lasting impact. What I did not know then was how it would apply to my life.
In the years since, I have grown to appreciate Frost’s poem. In fact, I have had many moments when I have faced a decision that I know would have a major impact on the rest of my life. These are times when you make a choice, follow the path, and see where it leads you. Later in life, you may look back and wonder, what would my life have been like, if I had chosen the other path?
The lessons we read during the month of April remind us that, as people of faith, we also have to make a decision. Do we say yes to follow Jesus and see where his path leads us? Or do we say no, I cannot go where you want me to go?
The disciples of Jesus had to make some important decisions after the resurrection appearances of Christ. Should they trust that Jesus has truly defeated death and follow his path towards a renewed life? Or do we choose not to believe and continue down the path of broken relationships with God and with each other?
At the time I write this reflection, Trinity is at a crossroads. This moment of decision-making came quickly. There has been little time to react, let alone think it through. Will the journey that began over 90 years ago come to an end? Will Trinity still be around to celebrate 100 years of ministry? Which path is the one that will make a difference?
People of God have always had to make choices. The scriptures are full of individuals and communities that have faced difficult times and wondered where it is that God is leading them. The same is true of the Christian church throughout history. Certainly, this was a challenge Martin Luther and others faced during the Reformation.
Congregations in the ELCA, as well as other mainline protestant churches, have seen significant changes over the last thirty years or so since the ELCA was formed in 1988. Worship attendance is down, the average age of members is going up, and congregations are increasingly challenged financially. So, we are at this moment of decision making due in part to factors that are beyond our control.
Having stated this, there are things that are within our control. You the members of Trinity have a decision to make. Does the ministry of Trinity come to an end? Does the ministry of Trinity transform into something new? Or is there still another path that will be chosen?
May the Spirit of God guide you in this journey and in your decision-making.
Dennis Kelly, Interim Pastor