by Pastor Mike Middaugh
Are we prepared to act when life gets messy?
In our readings this Sunday we witness a God who is not afraid to get involved with messy people or messy situations. Through Elijah in the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New, we see a God who gives healing and hope in the midst of life’s worst situations. For two widows, separated by hundreds of years, God gives new life when their only child has been lost to illness. This shows us that Jesus does not come only for the good, the rich, or the faithful. He comes for all, and so often he comes for those who need him most. Those dealing with life’s messiest of experiences.
Passages such as these should be a challenge to today’s Christian church. We know the right words to say on Sunday morning, but are we prepared to act when life gets messy? Will we step in when one among us has a need? Will we be there with food and prayer when a loved one is lost, an illness takes hold, or a child is born? Are we ready to act when disaster comes to our area, or to individuals we know?
These questions reveal one of the greatest opportunities for the church today. In each of the above scripture passages, those on the receiving end of generous grace respond with an exclamation of faith “the word of God is true.” I believe it is much the same today, there are some who may struggle to believe by words alone, but through a personal experience of God’s kindness, mercy and power that His church can help bring, they may come to know the truth of a good and holy God.
At Calvary, we are now ready to better organize ourselves to be prepared to respond. Our Mission Team, headed by Lori Shwartz and Sherrell Goolsby is meeting tomorrow night to talk through our goals for the future. An immediate goal is to form a Response Team – a group of people willing to be called and ready to help when there is a need we can meet. The purpose of this Response Team will be to discuss ways we might prepare in advance of an emergency, having plans in place that can be followed, creating a list of those in the congregation who have certain skills, and considering how our building might be used if it were needed. Local emergencies and needs can range from the smallest thing – someone in need of a ride; to the largest disasters – violent storms or public safety threats. We want to be ready for a variety of events.
All of this fits firmly within our congregational vision for the future. We have prayerfully dedicated ourselves to being a congregation “committed to Christ, and committed to community,” and have said we felt called to be a “center of healing, growth, and spiritual transformation.” A response team is an integral part to living up to these goals. I would ask you to consider how you might be a part of this new team. A few people (4-5) are needed who are willing to be available, ready to be the first to act and to call others to help. But these few also need to know who else is willing to serve, what skills people have, and to whom they might turn depending upon the need.
If you are willing to be a part of this team, or if you are at least willing to respond for certain needs please, speak with Lori Schwartz, Sherrell Goolsby, or me. As a team forms they will also be working to create a more extensive list of talents, skills and volunteers. Then we will be ready prepared to act, following a God who brings healing when life gets messy.