For Such A Time As This
It was a ten-mile day and we were out of water. The trail had been very unkind—unexpectedly steep and rocky. The downhill wasn’t any better—the slope and thick covering of leaves were equally cruel and treacherous. Our intense thirst, overwhelming fatigue, and failed attempts to find a stream left us discouraged and hopeless. Things hadn’t gone as planned. We had hoped for a better day.
In many ways, this year has been like that—unexpectedly steep and difficult. So much has changed around us—our life together looks nothing like we imagined it would look when this year began. Sometimes it feels like we need a new map—every turn seems to require blazing a new trail. We continue to be the church together, but it hasn’t been easy. I’ve wondered about stewardship in times like these. In the book of Ezekiel chapter 47, the prophet discovers that the movement of God’s people is like a great and powerful river. It emerges from the temple, grows through the wilderness places, and flows into the sea of stagnant waters. God shows Ezekiel that wherever the river goes, everything lives. The stagnant water becomes fresh—the Dead Sea comes to life. It’s what happens when God’s people emerge from the sanctuary. Ezekiel’s vision inspires me. Ezekiel's vision inspires the church. There is always hope when the people of God are on the move.
I know these are difficult times to talk about stewardship, but we were created for such a time as this. At the end of the trail, on that challenging day in the wilderness, we discovered some moist leaves that grew into a life-giving stream. Renewal happened. The map hadn’t failed us after all. You know it’s the same with us. Our commitment to follow the way of Jesus is a commitment that makes a lasting difference. To move as God’s people is to move with generous love. We are the living body of Christ, “and wherever the river goes, everything will live."
Thank you for your commitment to give. I am proud to be the church with you.
Rev. Keith Turman, Senior Pastor (As found in the 2020 Stewardship Newsletter)