August 6, 2010 (yes I know I missed some days - they are coming)
"Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you . . .So Abram went."
Many at First Christian grew up in Wheeling and have lived here all their lives. Some went away and have come back. Some, like me, are transplants from someplace else. Those times in our lives when my family has packed all the boxes and driven across the country to somewhere we didn't know, we at least knew where we were going. The decision to move involved a lot of prayer and listening, but never was I challenged to listen to God's direction and go - without a plan. There was always a job waiting for one of us, always a place found for us to live.
I think of Ros Cunningham. She is a person who I think best embodies the trusting relationship in God shown by Abram in this text. Ros heard a call to ministry, knew she needed a proper education, packed up her child and a few things in New Jersey and drove to Wheeling. She was not enrolled in school yet. She did not have a job or house. Ros heard where God called her and went. Likewise after graduation, she looked for the seminary she thought best for her. She sold what she had, put Lily in the car, and drove west, eventually finding herself in Portland, OR. She was not enrolled in school, did not have a job, and no where to live. And God is taking good care of her. Lily is doing great.
We as a congregation do not have to go blindly to a place we do not know. But we do need to listen to God's call which may lead us in being church in new ways, or doing things differently, or ministering to different children of God. Like Abram and Ros, we must trust that God has a plan even if we are a little foggy on the details.
Master, we want a road map. We want the details all arranged. Going forth into the unknown, doing things we haven't done before is scary. We want to plant our feet and say everything is fine the way it is. Wherever you lead us, Lord, may we trust enough to follow. Amen.