Monday, June 22, 2009

Are You Feeling Bogged Down?

"David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. ¶ David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off" (1 Samuel 17:39).

At Trinity United Methodist Church we have been looking at putting our Faith in Action, and over the last couple weeks we have been discovering what keeps us from doing just that. This week's message addressed being bogged down by life. When we are bogged down with work, worry, pain, to do lists, business, stuff, money or lack of, bureaucracy, and stress, then we can become stuck. We then get in a rut which keeps us from acting out our faith in Jesus Christ. We look to David in 1 Samuel 17 and discover that he recognized the potential for being bogged down by armor and weapons and decided to have them all removed. He told King Saul that he could not fight with all of that weighing him down. Once the armor was removed, he could move again and take on the job at hand. David was then able to defeat Goliath. Can we do the same? Do we have the courage to release all that burdens us? Can we put off the to do list? Can we evaluate in a better way what is important for today, and what are the not so pressing matters that bog us down. Let us commit with God's help to take those things off and get moving again. Let us set our faith free and follow Christ without being bogged down.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

40 in 40

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Each morning we awake to the call of God. We respond with thanksgiving for another opportunity to live and breathe. As the new day unfolds we are constantly presented with opportunities to respond to God's goodness by serving others. I am reminded of the man at the pool in the Gospel of John. He had been in need for 38 years and laid by the pool waiting to be healed. When questioned by Jesus, he answered that nobody would help him. In fact, each time the water was stirred others would cut in front of him and leave him behind. At that moment, he was healed by Jesus. Jesus was there to lift him up. How many times a day do we step around, over or on people in need? We make great excuses. We convince ourselves that someone else will come along to help, or we think we can't solve their problem. Maybe we believe that the person needs to help themselves. These are inadequate responses to God's call; we need to answer, "here I am, send me!" I challenge all of you to 40 minutes of service in 40 days. For most of you, 40 minutes will seem like just a warm-up, for you are already engaged in regular Christian service. For others, it may just mean taking the time to reflect on the days work and actually keeping track; however, for some, it will be a challenge to slow down, and make time to listen for God's voice calling you to action. Wherever you may find yourself, answer the challenge to serve in the name of Christ. If you worship with us at Trinity, we look forward to having fun with this challenge. If you don't, I would love to hear comments from you too. The challenge ends July 16. God Bless.