Rev. Don Spencer
As I contemplated the question who am I, I realized that I could not leave others out of this pondering thought! How do we explain who we are in a few short paragraphs? While considering this thought, I was reminded that I am not the person I was yesterday and I will not be the person I am today—tomorrow! Therefore, we should strive to be better today than we have been in the past. To explain this thought, recall how God called Abram, saying, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to a land that I will show you”. ‘Abram obeyed God and went, as the LORD had told him, ‘without procrastinating’ (Genesis 12:1, 4).
Are we excited about our church family or procrastinating about what God is doing here? While praying about my calling and where God has placed me, I pause to reflect on how the early disciples, Mary Magdalene, Thomas and those on the road to Emmaus, did not at first recognize the risen Christ. Mary Magdalene thought He was the Gardener; Thomas at first did not believe and the two people on the road to Emmaus only recognized him after He was gone. Then, when they realized they had seen him, they told the other disciples, and proclaimed “We have seen the Lord (John 20:25)”. The question before us is have we seen the risen Lord and are we excited and obedient about our life’s journey?
As we reflect on the biblical stories above, we can easily understand why, at first, the disciples did not recognize Jesus. The reason was that they had broken away from their fellowship with others. They were not all together when Jesus first appeared and because of that some of them simply went back to their old ways of fishing. And still others had to have him appear to them personally. So what is the point? The point is that I believe that God has sent and called us together at this time and place to be excited about what God is doing amongst us. Furthermore, this should excite us about God’s love.
Honestly, I began my life’s journey more like Samuel than like Abram. I heard the voice of the Lord, but like the first disciples, failed to respond for many of the same reasons. Discouragement is what first happened to the early disciples because they failed to fellowship and understand the love of Jesus. Discouragement is what kills the spirit of the church, but once Jesus opens our eyes, like the disciples, their hearts burned within them and then they saw with excitement. Excitement is contagious, excitement is love, and love is of God. God sent me here at this time to spread God’s love into both the church and community. Come along and let us spread the contagious love of God together without procrastinating. Frankly, we do not have the time to procrastinate! As John stated; “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (John 20:29 N.R.S.V). Believe in God’s love!
The Pastor’s Notes