Community Engagement

By Eloise Briscoe

As I was walking out of church a few weeks ago after Anthony’s “Identity Crisis” sermon (1 Peter 1:1-4), I started humming a song that I hadn’t thought of in a long time. It was a Sara Groves song called “To the Moon”. Do you know it? You can hear Sara sing the song here. I hadn’t even thought of this song in many years. Why did this song come to mind? The Holy Spirit was digging up an old tune from my playlist to make a point. Anthony’s sermon reminded me of my identity as an exile and foreigner now, but also of the greater reality of inheritance and citizenship in heaven made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Sara Groves – To The Moon Lyrics
It was there in the bulletin
We’re leaving soon
After the bake sale to raise funds for fuel
The rocket is ready and we’re going to
Take our church to the moon

There’ll be no one there to tell us we’re odd
No one to change our opinions of God
Just lots of rocks and this dusty sod
Here at our church on the moon

We know our liberties we know our rights
We know how to fight a very good fight
Just get that last bag there and turn out the light
We’re taking our church to the moon
We’re taking our church to the moon
We’ll be leaving soon

Songwriter: SARA GROVES
To The Moon lyrics © MUSIC SERVICES, INC.

The “tongue-in-cheek” lyrics of the song paint a picture of a very tired and unhappy church that wants to just go away from the pressures they feel from being different in this world; from feeling like exiles. This church wants to get away (to the moon) from a world that makes them feel odd and might ask them to give up their rights. It is kind of a sad picture. This ornery attitude is precisely what Anthony’s sermon and I believe most of scripture calls us away from.

I am thankful for the emphasis of our “exilic identity” in so much of the teaching recently as we have been studying portions of Isaiah, and Daniel in the Women’s Bible Study (go ahead, guys; you can listen too. It’s on the website and it is great!). And now our focus in January continues to teach us how to live in the place that we are. Taking my adoption and spiritual inheritance seriously has changed the way I look at the place I live. Glory and perfection are prepared for us; this life is about living out the love of Jesus incarnationaly so others may learn of His great love. Jeremiah 29:4-7 has been a theme for me since we have lived in our house. Knowing our librarians, hosting backyard bible clubs, paying teenagers to shovel and hanging out with them, learning the names of the grocery store guys, feeding the kids on the bus stop and asking God for new ways to incarnate His great love and forgiveness have made our 25+ years full of life. Raising our daughters with neighbors and friends and walking through major joy and major suffering together has been the most humbling honor and gift. Praying for the spirit of revival in our place has been the best faith adventure; I cannot wait to see the many faces from Upper Dublin in glory and hear how God broke into their life because of our blind but believing Saturday morning prayers.

Yes, one day “we will be leaving” for our perfect home, as the song talked about. But I want my time here to be a time of loving and investing and caring for this place that I temporarily live even if it asks a lot of me. I know that my real home will offer more than enough.