What incredible, almost impossible-to-believe event has happened in your community? What stretched your understanding of God at work in the world? What blew your mind with wonder and joy? Grab hold of that today and celebrate the goodness of God at work in your midst. This is a day for giving God thanks for the heights your congregation has been able to reach, only because of God’s grace and presence among you. This is a day for recognizing that even the everyday miracles of service and healing and transforming have been taking place among you because nothing is too wonderful for God. It is time to give God thanks and praise for all that has been and is happening and will happen among you.
“But wait,” you’re thinking, “How is this the weight of the call? How is this a burden or a struggle? Isn’t it a good thing that God is working wonders among us?” Of course, it is! But someone had to believe that the impossible might be possible. Just ask Abraham and Sarah. Someone had to believe that God could bring life out of what appeared to be barrenness.
So, today we celebrate big dreams, grand visions. Today, we imagine what is possible with God in our own congregation, in our own community. Today, we give thanks for all that has been, even as we ask God to take us further, to equip us for more. But if you don’t think that is going to require commitment and effort and energy on your part, then you aren’t thinking it through.
Jesus sent the disciples out and asked them to trust that the resources that they needed to accomplish their mission were within reach. He told them to not focus on what they didn’t have or what they couldn’t afford, but to work with what was available to them. That level of trust is a high calling. And we often find ourselves falling short by focusing on our limitations or our lack rather than on the abundance that God has already provided to us. We are called to out-of-the-box thinking, to the creative use of resources, and ultimately to trust that we have enough and we are enough—enough to be disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. So, let this worship be a time of prayer for deeper trust, for opened eyes, for willing hearts and hands. Let this time be a time of stirring us up to go and proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.