#UCCSynod: God of the Whale

#UCCSynod: God of the Whale

One in series of posts by Southern New England Conference delegates to the 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ.

The other day I saw a video of a snorkeler who went into the water from his boat in the middle of the bay because there was a humpback whale that kept coming alongside. It appeared distressed and would not leave. This whale was twice the length of the boat and weighed several tons. When the snorkeler realized the whale was entangled in a fishing net, he went to the surface and got a knife and he and the others began cutting away the net until the whale was free.  What was striking to me was this: the whale was focused on being free rather than fear, these men were more focused on the rescue than the danger.  Once the whale was freed from certain death, the whale went away leaping and jumping, breaching from the water in what appeared to be a show of gratitude and freedom. 

General Synod 34 has helped me realize so many in our world  are strangling from entanglements of our own making or from others, from systemic injustice in the past and present, atrocities of colonialism, and white supremacy  Maybe the whale just lived with the net until it realized it's very nature to jump out of the water was compromised and it had be free.  These men did what no other whale could do. They had the means and fearlessly removed the entanglement. 

 At this 34th General Synod, we are invited to get to the place where our desire to be free from entanglements becomes greater than our fears. We are invited to fearlessly move to make God’s love and justice real, seeking to remove entanglements despite the real danger.  With the help of God we are encouraged to actively seek to be healers, repairers of the breach, world changers, fearlessly preaching and living out the Gospel, resulting in setting captives FREE.  This whale was focused on being free, rather than fear.  These men were more focused on the rescue rather than the danger.  This Synod encourages me to fearlessly make God’s love and justice real in deeds, in truth and actions, and bringing Shalom into reality for all.

Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash


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Donna Jean Spencer Collins

Donna Spencer Collins is the pastor of the Groveland Congregational Church UCC in Groveland, MA.

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