Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting ready for building remodel dedication

It's been a while since I've posted here...

Back in May, we as a congregation voted to do some construction. "Pardon our dust; we're remodeling" was the sign on our marquee most of the summer.

A refurbished youth building provides a comfy place for Sunday school.
New roofs prepare us for a rainy day--literally.
Remodeled restrooms and a less-sloped ramp are steps toward being more welcoming and accessible.

In response to our financial generosity and thanksgiving to God, it makes sense to do some sort of blessing service and prayer of dedication during regular Sunday worship. The challenge was finding a date. I would rather not do it on Reformation or All Saints, but it would be good to do it before Thanksgivng and Advent. So, November 14 was chosen and put on the calendar.

Sometimes the assigned lectionary can be surprisingly ironic. Talk about juxtaposition:
After we have just spent lots of money from our building fund on construction that includes rock siding, in Luke 21, we meet Jesus near the Jerusalem temple, adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God. He fortells destruction: "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another. All will be thrown down."

Sometimes the Bible challenges us. Sometimes we are confronted by words of Jesus that push us and make us wonder. As a preacher, I know that my job is to proclaim Gospel--good news. I'm supposed to say what God is doing, not what we need to do.

As I prepare to preach for tomorrow, the phrases that strike me the most are:
"This will give you an opportunity to testify."
"The end will not follow immediately."
"I will give you words and a wisdom that your opponents will not be able to withstand or contradict."

We live in uncertain times, as did the early Jesus followers. I don't know what the future holds. Instead, I trust God to give words and wisdom.

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