Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Willing to go?

Today’s Reading: John 14:3-4(NIV)

3 [Jesus said,] “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Good morning!

I was thankful to be seated in the upper balcony of First United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday morning, July 19, 2008. We had the perfect place to see the service of consecration of our newly elected Bishops to the South Central Jurisdiction. From the balcony, we could see the mass youth choir seated on both sides of the balcony and in the front of the sanctuary. We looked down upon the altar area, where Bishops would gather to lay hands upon and pray for our newly elected and appointed shepherds.

As I listened to the Gathering Music, “Living Water of Life” sung by two hundred voices of the North Texas Annual Conference High School Youth Choir, tears of joy began to slide down my face, dripping off my chin and onto the bulletin and Bible sitting in my lap. With no Kleenex in sight, I was wishing for my grandmother’s hankie, the one with the crocheted edging. I saw a future with hope as I gazed upon the faces of our future, singing praise to God Almighty. Jeff and I knew the choir director well - he was a member of our youth group at Stephan Memorial United Methodist Church in Overland, Missouri, thirty years ago. I saw how the Lord was working in his life as he willingly leads youth to Christ through pastoral service in the church. I thought about the history that was unfolding before me. Here I was, sitting in a worship service that was steeped in historical and time-honored tradition. Bishops are appointed to help lead people into a personal and lifelong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and we are participating in covenant ministry as part of this holy observance.

How awesome, that God could take a humble human heart and raise him up for servant leadership within the church of Jesus Christ! How awesome that God could use all of us for His plan and purpose in the world! How awesome is the awesome One who forgives, heals, and loves unconditionally! What kind of love would lay His life down so that we might live forever?

I was struck by the power of new life within the sanctuary. I felt the Holy Spirit dance throughout the body, touching every heart in a new way. In this moment, I was acutely aware that Jesus Christ Himself has prepared a special place for every one of us, in this world and in the world to come. A unique and extraordinary gift mix, we are the body of Christ, led by His Spirit. Jesus said that we know the way to the place where He is going.

Where will He lead us? Are we willing to go?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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