Putting a Stake in the Future!
We began our new sermon series with a message of hope based on the passage from Jeremiah 29:31. I would like to revisit this passage as we consider a land purchase. In Jeremiah we read, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This word reminds us we need not despair about the future for God has plans for us, a future and a hope.
The backstory of Jeremiah makes this teaching even more remarkable. These words of hope came in a time of bleakness. Israel was about to go into exile. What was Jeremiah’s response? Be depressed? Go into hiding? Blame someone? No. None of the above. Jeremiah did something absurd, he put his hope into action. He bought a field at Anathoth. Why did he do such a thing? He believed God had a future with a hope. Even though through the exile he would face uncertainty, Jeremiah put a stake into the future! He believed God had a future and a hope!
Today, our world has plenty of uncertainties. We have our challenges. Yet, we like Jeremiah, have a choice; we can dwell on the worst case scenario or we can trust in God who holds the future! I would invite us to trust God with the future and take an action step, put a stake into the future!
Shalimar United Methodist Church has a chance to buy land like Jeremiah. The Presbyterian property is for sale and we have a contract in hand. This is a stake we can place into the future, trusting God on behalf of generations to come. This property being available is humbling and it points to a future and a hope! How might God use this piece of real estate for His Kingdom purposes? We may not be able to conceive of everything today but we can grow in our hope that the future will be bright! I am constantly reminded of the words of Paul about the future in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Only God knows fully why this opportunity has come before Shalimar UMC! Let us move forward in expectant hope!
This weekend is historic for Shalimar UMC, as the Charge Conference considers the purchase of the Presbyterian property. I would propose this is not just historic but futuristic. Today we have a chance to be like Jeremiah and claim the future and a hope for Shalimar UMC! I would invite us to move into a season of prayer and fasting for this decision today and as we move to deliberate the Kingdom purposes for this addition. Will you join with me like Jeremiah and put a stake into the future! We want to join with God in the future and hope!