June 1, 2020

 

A Word from Walker

 
In a time of unrest, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. Any serious follower of Jesus Christ lives in the natural tension between being very concerned about our national crises while seeking to trust a sovereign, good and loving God. This is not easy to do for any of us. Reflecting on this challenge, one of my friends said a while back, “If anyone acts like they know what they are doing, take their advice with a grain of salt because we have never been through anything like this before!”
 
Sometimes, the most important thing we do in a situation like this is not so much figuring out “what” we should do next as much as it is “how” we should respond. Not panicking and making impulsive decisions that are driven by superficial judgements is crucial. This requires a pervasive kind of patience that keeps us steady during the storm. One of the results of applying patience to our situation is we come to realize that there is a time to decide and a time to wait and pray. Maintaining the balance between contemplation and action is where the proverbial rubber meets the road for all of us.
 
The good news for Christians is that since we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:1-16) we have access to deep wisdom. This wisdom “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (Jas. 3:17). It not only helps us make the right decisions, it helps us make them in the right way. Wisdom is our birthright as children of God. We just have to use it.
 
Based on how God has blessed us with wisdom we should lead our families, our churches, our businesses and our communities with a bedrock assurance than despite not knowing what the future holds, we are in the grasp of the One who knows the beginning from the end. Let me encourage you this day to take the pressure off of your heart to have to figure everything out or falsely believing that being anxious about all of the unknowns we are facing is a sign of irrecoverable weakness. God loves you and He has a path for you to walk on that leads to greater fruitfulness and overcoming peace than you can ever imagine. Please know that we are praying for you and are here for you.
 
 

June 1, 2020

 

Craig's Comments

 
Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” Ezekiel 37:3
  
No matter which direction that you choose to look right now, it is easy to find yourself wondering “can these bones live?” We have now endured weeks of quarantine and limited social engagement with the ripple effect of extreme limits upon our faith gatherings. As if this was not enough, we now find our nation embroiled in a wave of violent protests following the tragic loss of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
  
Undoubtedly, I could go on listing the challenges faced right now, but so many of us are living it daily and are keenly aware. While there is some movement towards churches opening and life slowly returning to a new normal, it would appear that many obstacles remain for the days ahead. We may not be looking out upon a field of dry bones like Ezekiel, but the current socio-political outlook is rather bleak making hope a rare commodity.
  
So what principles do we glean from Ezekiel? We see in this context that Ezekiel remained in close dialogue with his God, preached God’s Word over the bones, and received God’s Spirit. As we just celebrated Pentecost once again on May 31, our reliance upon God’s Spirit remains essential. The fruit of the Spirit is crucial as we consider the importance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  
How will God’s Spirit choose to work in and through your life as the floodgates for the gospel begin to open once again? Remain prayerful as we look towards this Summer and our Missions Blast in August. Continue to explore with us needs in your community as we pray toward serving elementary schools, inner city poverty, and other needs. A few churches have agreed to serve as anchor churches in this season of mobilization: Center Grove, Old Town, Two Cities, and Walnut Cove. Their missions ministries have graciously agreed to remain available for any church needing some help in making these community ministry connections.
  
May God grant you a renewed vision this Summer as we walk by faith together as PMBA churches,
  
Craig