Later Jesus found him in the temple and said, "See, you have been rnade well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you." ... But Jesus answered them, "My Father is still working, and I also am working." (John 5:14, 17)
Pumpkin Patch season is upon us. Pumpkins are scheduled to be delivered on Oct. 1 (Sunday), and will be for sale until the end of October. In addition, our church Yard Sale (now indoor Rummage Safe) is scheduled for Oct. 7; "A Night of Jazz" on Oct. 21; Spooky Walk on Oct. 27 and 28; Magic Circle's Halloween Parade on Oct. 30 and 31; and the Charge Conference is just around the corner on Nov. 19. Our church family will be buzzing with various activities, and between the scheduled events and services, we have a busy and exciting season to look forward to. The church committee members will take on the responsibility of preparing numerous reports for the Charge Conference. We are steadily picking up speed, fully entering into what is to be a busy church calendar year. And such is the nature of our work for the mission and ministry of the Lord. While the pace and cadence may change over the course of time, our service does not end.
We may recall the story of a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years. He was lying near a pool called Bethza-tha in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate when our Lord went up to Jerusalem. Jesus asked him "Do you want to be well?" There was no one to carry and place him into the pool when the water was stirred up for healing, yet Jesus said to the man, "Stand up, take your mat and walk." At once the man was made well when he obeyed the word of the Lord. It was a miraculous and wonderful moment of restoration, but here's the twist - the healing took place on a Sabbath, which conflicted with Jewish law and the critics vocally denounced the act. And Jesus responded with the following words; "My Father is still working, and I also am working." In other words, "just as God's love, mercy and compassion do not cease on Sabbath, my work continues." First, God works because He loves. Love is the motive for God's act. That's why God created the universe and cares for humanity - all because of His love. No matter the scale or scope, this theme sets the foundational base. Our Lord healed this man who had been ill for thirty-eight years because of His love. Similarly, we are asked to work in love, follow- ing in the footsteps of Jesus and His ministry. Second, God's work is often demonstrated in conjunction with man's obedience to God's Word.
During his now famous Second Inaugural on March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln made public his private wonders about what God was doing. He asked his audience, what caused the war? What were God's purposes for the future? Lincoln was uncertain on much of it, but he knew this: slavery was somehow the cause of the war; God hates injustice; and the nation must now bring "charity" and "right" to heal the land. Beyond that, he concluded, "The Almighty has His own purposes." Without the ill man's trust and obedience to the Lord's word, such a wondrous miracle would not have happened. Great things can be achieved when we partake in God's works, trusting in His goodness. Let us strive to discern God's divine will and pray for continued participation in His mission with undiluted love and vigor. May the Lord richly bless our church and strengthen its ministry for his glory this fall.
Love and blessings, Pastor Dai Hoon