Jesus - People matter
Did you ever hear the old joke about the guy stranded on a desert island? He prays to God for a miracle. A boat shows up to rescue him, and he says “no thank you, I’m waiting for God.” Then a helicopter shows up to rescue him, and he says “no thank you, I’m waiting for God.” Then the man cries out to God, “God, I have been praying for you to rescue me from this island, why haven’t you shown up?” And God says to the man, “Well, I have already sent you a boat and a helicopter.”
I listened to the sermons from both the Voorhees campus and the Mount Laurel campus and they put me in mind of this joke. Allow me to explain. The series title is Jesus the Person. Sometimes I think I have a tendency sometimes to miss the fact that God chose to become a PERSON. And perhaps not so much so He could relate to me, but so that I can relate to HIM. God is all powerful and all knowing and the longer I live, the more I realize I will never begin to comprehend all that God is and does. But yet, He chose to make us in his image so that we could have a relationship with him. There have been a few times when God has spoken to me directly, not many. There have been many other times when God has spoken to me through Scripture, just Him and me and the Bible. But what I cannot deny, is that 24 years ago, when I cried out for rescue in a very dark time in my life, God did not rescue me out of that particular situation, at least not right away. What He did do was lead me through a series of events to a local church called Hope, that met in a high school. And through that local church I have met countless people who took an interest in me, counseled me, befriended me. They prayed for me and over me. They had my family over for dinner, they took me to lunch and breakfast. They provided childcare for my children. One woman even came to my house and cleaned my carpet! They taught me what I needed to know about the Bible and how to find and use other Christian resources, so I had a variety of voices in which to stretch me spiritually and intellectually. They cried with me over tragedies, and rejoiced with me over triumphs and provided food for my family during both. And out of the overflow of the blessing that God provided to me through these people, I have been able to give a small portion back to others, both at Hope and elsewhere. Sort of sounds like the show “This is Us” doesn’t it? I have been “doing life” with these people for a long time. We are hard wired, by God for relationship. We need it like we need air and water. Jesus came to earth and modeled for us what healthy relationship looks like and God is happy to provide those relationships to us, if we are willing to engage in them.
God has ministered to me most often through the actions and words of people who are in the process of being conformed to the image of Christ, for the sake of others. Some of these people I know personally, others I know just through their speaking and/or writing. I need both, and when I call out for rescue, God is happy to provide them to me. I just need the eyes to see, the ears to hears and the wisdom to take the gifts that God is giving me. You see, God ALWAYS answers my prayer for rescue, He just does not always do it in the manner that I think he will.
The scripture that I am going to leave you with came in my inbox this morning (how convenient, yes God can even work through email).
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:12
The US that John is referring to are people. Make sure today that you see God in the people around you. If you are not seeing God in the people that are surrounding you, make sure that you part of a community, or a small group, that is actively following Jesus. If you would like help with that, you can contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Heather Mandala, our Director of Small Groups, email@example.com, either of us would love to help you find your people.
- Vickie Crews, Mount Laurel