Let us Pray for Where God would Have us Go

Let us Pray for Where God would Have us Go

I don’t know about you, but it shocks me that we are in September. For me, with Lent starting so late, the first part of the year seemed to drag on and I didn’t think we would ever get to Ash Wednesday. But once Lent got here it felt like someone stepped on the accelerator and shot us right through Holy Week, most of the summer and now we are on the edge of autumn. I know it is a tired cliché to say that time flies – but it really does. So I wanted to take a few moments to think about the rest of the year and hopefully focus our mission as we head towards Advent.

You have heard me say, time and time again, that we are the church and as such we have some duties to carry out in this world. We carry out the duties and responsibilities because God loves us. We do these things because Christ died for us to save us from the death of sin, and because Christ loves us so much that he calls us into his eternal life. In short we do not do these things ‘so that’ Christ will love us but we do them ‘because’ Christ loves us so much.

The duties and responsibilities that we have as the church are to love and serve this world. We are people who have been saved by the love of Jesus Christ poured out for us in his body and blood on the cross at Calvary. Therefore, in following him, we are called to serve and love the people of this world that are in need both in body and in spirit. We are called to love and serve the people of this world because they also are people that Jesus Christ died for, and as such, they matter to him and therefore they are to matter to us.

The question then is how are we do to that? How are we at Geeseytown and Newry supposed to best work to help this world, and to share the love and light or Christ with those around us. Well, I will tell you we do pretty well as a parish of collecting and gathering for those that need. I don’t know if it is a characteristic of smaller churches – but for some reason – I have always seen smaller congregations give to causes and organizations what seems to be proportionally more than what you would see in larger churches. I feel like a broken record sometimes going through the list of the things which you have supported in our time together here: the Claysburg Food Bank, Williamsburg Food Bank, Altoona Domestic Abuse Shelter, Operation SOS (Christmas gifts for soldiers), Lutheran World Relief efforts in Japan and Haiti, the Souper Bowl of Caring, Lutheran World Hunger Program, and the list goes on. You all are givers that is something that is good. The Bible is very clear from beginning to end. We who have are called to help those who have not, those who can are called to help those who cannot.

So we do that, and that spirit of giving is a blessing and a gift of the Holy Spirit. I know the heart that you all have for those in need. I thank God for the generosity that he works through you. I am also thankful that our ‘little’ churches can be an example of serving and loving others. Proving that you don’t have to have 500 people show up on a Sunday to be a people who God is working through in this world.

But because we are so good at giving, because we do more than some might assume possible for two ‘little churches’ – it begs a question: What else can we do? You see I think God is showing us that much is possible when he begins to work in his church. Look what he is doing here. What else might God be calling us to do?

I’m not saying that we necessarily have to solve all the world problems here at Geeseytown and Newry. But I am saying that there is no telling – or better said – there is no limit to what is possible here. We have already seen God at work in ways that might startle other people, but we know that giving and serving and gathering is just what we do.

Since we know that God is at work and moving and using our churches – why don’t we see what it is that we can do with that. I have mentioned this before in our services – but I think we are reaching a time and a place where we need to all be in prayerful discernment about what God is calling us to be. I think there is a call upon our churches. We have seen that God has given us a heart to serving and helping and giving. Why not really take a step out there and see what God will do with us?

So what I would like for you to do is to enter with me into a period of focused prayer. From now until Thanksgiving (which is right at the end of this church year) please join me in asking God what he wants for our parish.  Now I know when I say that many of you might automatically think I am looking for some type of nightly prayer vigil or some huge and dramatic gesture of prayer. I don’t want anything complicated unless the Holy Spirit moves you toward some grand and dramatic gesture. No, what I am asking you to do is join me in asking God what we should do. When you pray, remember those you love, those who need God’s mercy, those who are sick, and all those you hold in your heart. But also, please ask our Lord, what he wants for the Geeseytown and Newry Lutheran Parish. Add it on as a final petition in your prayers and your conversations with our Heavenly Father. “Lord what do you want us to do, and where can we your people be of service?”

I don’t think that it too hard. I promise you that I will pray until the end of this year specifically asking our Lord this question. I ask you to hold me to that by joining with me, and seeking God’s guidance as to where we are to go and to how we are to go there.

Then, please keep your eyes open. See if God places opportunities and ideas in your path. And the pastor would really appreciate it if you would share those revelations with him J.

I hope you will join me in this period of discernment, this could be a major moment for our churches. Because God may just let us help him to heal and save this world.

May God Bless you and Keep You,
In Christ
Pastor Mike

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