First of all, thank you to those who turned out for the meeting on Tuesday evening to share with the presbytery how you thought things were going in this Interim Ministry time, some of the joys and the challenges and then for inviting me to stay with you another year!
This means I will be in ministry with you folks till the end of June of 2019.
After a month where I heard much grumbling, I began to feel like Moses when he cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 😉
So apparently, most of you are not ready to stone me.
With the extension, there will be sufficient time to have the changes we have made become, as Martha put it Tuesday evening, “Part of our muscle memory.” And sufficient time to find the best minister possible for you in this stage of your journey.
Leadership is not for the faint of heart… it never has been, it never will be.
Moses knew that intimately! He has led the people out of slavery, but rather than rejoice in their freedom, they complain that they do not have the food and drink to which they have become accustomed to in Egypt.
They had become fearful. We too become fearful when we move beyond what we know. We too become quarrelsome when it seems as if our needs aren’t going to be met. We too allow fear to dominate our actions instead of looking around for something for which to be grateful.
Rachel Keefe wrote, “Abundant life results when we seek God in service to our neighbors and all of Creation. If we think we can go it alone, remember Moses and those with him in the desert. It was God who provided them with water to quench their endless thirst and manna to satisfy the gnawing hunger. Left to their own devices, they thought life with Pharaoh was pretty good. They did until God reminded them that a life of abundance can only be found in God.” You can check out more of her work here.
There is a theory that when we focus on gratitude, we cannot be fearful.
So we are going to do a little exercise today.
You each have a post it note in your bulletin and hopefully something to write with.
I want you to take a moment and write down something for which you are grateful for in this faith community.
When you are ready, come put it up on the flipchart.
And take one of these Gratitude Challenge booklets.
These are a simply daily exercise to focus on gratitude for the next three weeks.
I read aloud the comments… and then created the graphic that is attached.
Sounds like the mind of Christ.
Imagine a world in which all who called themselves Christians turned their hearts, minds, and hands to embodying Love in the world. This passage so eloquently reminds us that we belong, not to ourselves, but to Christ. Clearly, the Philippians needed this reminder as much as we do. Left to our own devices we forget that we are called to a life united in Love, a life meant to serve God by serving others in the name of Christ. (Rachel Keefe)
On this World Wide Communion Sunday, let us join our hearts and minds to being love in the world.
Thanks be to God for the challenge and the opportunity, amen.
Exodus 7: 1-7
Philippians 2: 1-5
October 1, 2017 – EPC