St. Luke's United Methodist Church
Pastor Mike's Corner
Boldly praying for BIG STUFF in Berkeley County
Do you remember Moses’ audacious prayers to God there around Exodus 33? Even though God could have rightly abandoned these folk after all the complaining and idolatry they had thrown in God’s face, bold Moses would not let God off the hook! It is as if he shook his finger at the sky in reprimand, “Don’t you dare up and abandon us now, God; This is your doing! You are the whole reason we are out here in the first place! I want you to show your face, show me your presence--your glory--and don’t even think about leaving us!”Maybe not too many people can pray like this, because so many of us often aren’t acting on God’s call or living our lives responding to God’s deliverance and direction like Moses was. No, Moses wasn’t perfect, but he knew this was never his idea; he knew God had called him out of retirement to do this job! He was holding God to God’s own call and demanding some direction from the Director.
In contrast, we are often earnestly caught up asking God’s blessing on whatever situations or messes we’ve made; our projects and plans that we want God’s help with at the moment. How might it change our prayers if we stayed in places and situations because we got there out of obedience to God? We might learn some of Moses’ intimacy and authenticity with God as we sought to follow God’s leading that closely and faithfully.
If you know this old story, you know that God did indeed show Moses glimpses of the majestic and overwhelming Presence; God gave Moses and the people blessed assurance that God would not abandon them, and God would continue to lead and guide them. Fast forward through the ages and we realize God gave us another stunning glimpse of his Presence with and through these people. This turned out to be the family out of which Jesus would be born. “And we beheld his glory, the glory as of a Father’s only Son.”
With Jesus, we learned more of the LORD’s deep commitment to be with us and to show us his way, his truth, and his life. And remember, Jesus shared this way and truth and life with his friends, and, in turn, sent them out to share it too!
Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure
every disease and every sickness... As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come
near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers,
cast out demons. – Matthew 10:1, 7-8
Do you know God’s wants to show the Martinsburg area the wild and wondrous glory of the LORD? I know God will bless, heal and help in a mighty way through us--we disciples, and God’s Spirit in us--out, active and alive in this community.
Let’s begin dreaming about God changing the headlines with that stunning glory and this wild Way of Jesus! Can you imagine the papers’ glorious new headlines? “Lives being changed by the day in Martinsburg,” or “New Life in the Panhandle--Addicts come not for heroin, but for healing and help.” I am convinced that we can hold God to every bit of this. We can ask God to move and lead, to guide us and go with us—even as audaciously as Moses prayed—because this is the very work Jesus has sent us to do!
May God bless our teamwork together.
In Jesus’ love,
Pastor Mike Cantley