Friday, July 17, 2009

Celebrating what God has done

Come and see what God has done,
his awesome deeds for humankind! He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the waters on foot-
come, let us rejoice in him.

— Psalm 66:5-6

Our church is entering a new phase of life. The founding pastor is leaving and taking a church in Deltona, Florida for reasons that escape me. Not him leaving, but why Florida? That is someplace that God would have to use the modern-day equivalent of a burning bush to make it clear to me that he wanted me to go there. Be that as it may, here we are moving forward and seeing new things.

But during the next few weeks we will have the opportunity to review what God has done in our congregation. We will have the time to offer praise for lives changed, for prayers answered, for ministry calls that have been extended all during Sam and Ann's ministry. It is an opportunity that we need to avail ourselves of. It will be part of the celebration that will accompany the sadness of seeing our only shepherd move on to a new flock. God does wonderful things through different people with different skill sets. Sam has a great pastoral skill set. I trust that the person God has in mind for us has the skill set that we need as we enter the next decade of our church's existence

But as we look forward, we need to take a moment to take in the grandeur of what God has already done. Not that we have arrived, or that we are "all that," but to reassure ourselves that the God who got us here, is with us now, and will be with us as we go forward. The Lord will continue to walk with those who worship Him and follow his commandments. Now is a good time for us to remind ourselves of how he has been faithful as we embark on a new phase of life. We would be wise to heed the command given to Joshua following the death of Moses, the only true leader Israel had ever known. Joshua 1:9 says:

"I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989, S. Jos 1:9

The Message makes it a little more emphatic: "Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Jos 1:8-9

Let the song in the clip above play as you reflect on this thought. Then let us share the stories of what God has done for us in our lives, in our church, and what we pray that he will do for us in the future.


Ron Blake said...

Roy, Nice job. Many of us love Florida! But the most beautiful place in the world is to be in the center of God's will. I wish the Mullen's all the best and God bless

JoAnn C Bastien said...

Roy, thanks for posting this. I am praying for Sam and his family. But also for your church. God has great things planned!

rob swick said...

Somthing tells me God has been orchestrating this for quite some time. Does this ring any conversational bells tro you?

Roy said...

Yes it does Rob. It caught the congregation by surprise, but then God has a history of moving when people least expect it.

Ron, Thanks for the comment. You can have the Sunshine State. Give me low humidity and a decent winter and I am happy.