I have always wondered what it might have been like to live through the years of the East-West Schism (early 1000s), when the One Church divided into the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church at a glacial pace. Did the people in charge vilify each other? Did the attendees of the church become hostile?
I have always wondered what it might have been like to live through the Protestant Reformation (1500s), when the Catholic Church was challenged on it’s beliefs and new Protestant Churches were started. Would I have been on the ‘right’ side?
I have always wondered what it might have been like to be apart of the Great Awakening (1700s, 1800s), when so much was going on – it was difficult to keep up. People were finding new passion for God, but also finding it necessary to start new denominations. Would I be caught up in the excitement? Would I be accidentally hurt by the overzealous or made to feel obsolete?
I also wonder if I would be among the groups resistant to change, or open to all the possibilities. I wonder what people will say about the church era of the second millennium. Will we be characterized by division? Will we find a way to heal spiritual wounds and unite churches? Will we follow in the footsteps of preceding generations? Will we find a new way to do the same old thing?
Change has never been easy, but there are times when it’s right – hopefully we can find a way to mend that which is broken, restore relationships, rejoice in our commonalities, and accept differences without insisting on separation.