In the beginning: we passed the dream along!
This message was offered at Wesley United Methodist Church (Culver, IN) on Sunday, June 15, 2014. What follows below is the outline used for the sermon.
Reading: Genesis 50:24-26
I know this may come as a big surprise to many of you, but I’ve really struggled with what I might say on this my final Sunday among you as your pastor. Which is why this will be the shortest message I’ve ever given.
Gracious God, in the moments to come, give me the words to speak and they the ears to hear so that together, we might be inspired to not only speak but to also live your Word in the world starting today. It’s in your son’s name, your most holy Word we pray. Amen.
It was the end.
Joseph was about to die. So, he called for his brothers. They’d not always seen eye-to-eye. Remember, these were the brothers who threw Joseph in a pit, thought about killing him, but instead decided sell him into slavery. Joseph called his brothers to his bedside. Regardless of what had happened in the past, Joseph loved them nonetheless. And, in his final moments, he reassured them: “God will certainly take care of you” he told them. God will “bring you out of this land to the land he promised our ancestors… And, when God takes care of you, don’t forget to take my bones with you” (adapted from Genesis 50:24-25).
Joseph knew that God would make good on the promise God made to his father (Jacob), grandfather (Isaac), and great-grandfather (Abraham). Joseph trusted that God would provide and he asks his brothers to not leave him behind when all God’s dreams come true through them.
Like the sons of Jacob, it’s no secret we’ve not always seen eye-to-eye. While there have been tremendous joys, glimpses of God’s kingdom in Culver over the past two years, there’s no hiding the fact that there have also been times of great struggle. Don’t lose hope. God is always faithful. And, it’s my prayer that one day you’ll look back on our time together and see God at work, preparing you to do great things for Christ’s sake; and so I, like Joseph, simply ask that when God’s promise is realized in your midst, that you’ll take me with you.
I truly believe that God is calling Wesley Church to be a beacon of God’s love in southern Marshall County and the world. I continue to believe that God has strategically placed Wesley Church—in between the only schools in the entire district! in proximity to almost every child in the southern part of Marshal County and parts of three other counties—to be a place where all—especially, children—might come to know of God’s great love found in Jesus Christ. I continue to believe that God is calling Wesley Church to be a church where young and old and everyone in between might find a safe place to grow in their love and commitment to God and neighbor.
I truly believe that God will unite Wesley Church once more in order that God’s Kingdom might come in Culver as it is in heaven. God has great things in store for you and the city God has placed you in. That’s my parting prayer: a dream that I know God can accomplish through you. And when you see God’s dreams become a reality, don’t forget to take me and my family with you.