Deuteronomy 34: 4 – 5
“This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your decedents’ I have let you see it with your eyes but you will not cross over into it. And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab as the Lord had said.”
Moses made it to the promise land…sorta. Moses was able to look out at the promise that lay ahead but was not permitted to go.
All that work to stand on a ledge and look out at the promise to be fulfilled but also know that you won’t be able to reap the fruits of such long and arduous labor.
Moses died looking out towards what he had worked so hard to build and get to.
Moses died a true Kingdom building servants’ death.
Many of us would have stood on top of Mount Nebo, looked across the plains of Moab toward the Promised Land and ask God – “ok, when do I go.”
God of course might also reply, “nope, this is one adventure that you don’t get to go.”
We in turn might reply “Excuse me, I think I heard you wrong. My ears might be plugged up or something. It sounded like you said I won’t be able to join X, Y, or Z in enjoying all that I’ve helped build! That can’t be. It’s unfair.”
Moses sacrificed more than many and yet God used Moses to only get within sight of the Promised Land.
Not to touch. Not to feel. Not to even hear the sounds. Not to feel that special gravel crunch under his sandals. Instead, only to gaze upon it from a vast distance.
God calls many of us to do the same.
We are rebuilding this church. Some of us, including myself, may never get to the finished product (if that even exists!) but we are still being called to work fastidiously on making it to the Promised Land.
The days are long but the years are short – applies not only to raising children but also building a church. It takes maximum effort to grow a church. No church just sustains anymore – that model of the 1950’s and 1960’s no longer applies. Technology is constantly changing, methodologies are constantly changing, and culture is constantly changing even while Scripture is always unchanging.
The world around us is fluid and we cannot remain static. We must ebb and flow with the many challenges and changes while always remaining true to our mission and vision. Moses adapted and overcame many obstacles and challenges on his way to the summit of Mount Nebo. It is was his trust in God and faith in his purpose that sustained him through so much adversity.
The only way we grow in a community that has a nearly unchanging population size (Denver grows by almost 45,000 people each year for example versus La Junta of a total population of about 7000 people). We don’t get to just wait for the new batch of Methodist to move in.
Families are smaller, events compete on Sunday, both parents work and traditionally women were the ones to bring families to church, families are commuting further distances for jobs to include working over weekends, people outside the church often expect church to be different than those who helped build the church. Look at what Moses dealt with those who journeyed with him – constantly hearing how freedom was so much different than they imagined.
Even though Moses never set foot on the Promised Land, he died knowing he had fulfilled His mission and vision. Moses rested knowing that it was all about the journey and no longer about the destination. That is what good leaders do as well as good servants.
I’m not sure if you are in a season of exhaustion. I’m not sure if you are in a season of despair waiting for things to change but nothing seems to budge. I’m not sure if you are concerned that you are wishing and hoping and working for a result you might never see. Trust in God. Seek out God. Pray to God. Know this church needs you more than you will ever know EVEN more than we could ever tell you or show you. God’s Kingdom needs as many prayer warriors and silent disciples as it can get.
Pray: Gracious and Loving God, move our spirit and help us understand how important we all are in building Your kingdom. Renew in each of us a spirit of hope and expectation – renew in us new energy to sustain and invigorate our ministries and this church.
Read: Exodus 2
Act: Think about ONE new way to serve the church. If you are tired maybe you aren’t just physically tired but maybe tired of doing the same thing. They aren’t the same thing. Doing new things is an exciting way to feel renewed by God. Learning new things helps keep us fresh and inspired.
Yourself: Have a picnic. Make a couple sandwiches and some baby carrots and go to City Park in La Junta. Drive a few minutes south of La Junta off HWY 109 and go to Vogel Canyon. Go to Swink to the purple park. Step away from your dinner table and breathe in God’s amazing gift of air. Let it fill your lungs as you close your eyes (wait until you are done chewing though…?)
May it be so,
Summer Bible Studies:
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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