and I ask God to help me

St Peters by the Sea Cross Sunshine
Thank you for your warm welcome at my installation service this past month! Thank you to all who made it possible with their labor and diligence in setting up, serving, tearing down, providing music, or offering leadership in any way and to those who attended, either in person or virtually. THANK YOU!   The thing that I’m taking away from that service is the phrase, “I will and I ask God to help me.”  There are two parts to that statement; an offer of my own that I will take up this task of being your pastor and an acknowledgement of a God who is ever-present and actively desiring to be involved in this project, apart from whom I’m not going to get very far!   It reminds me of the story from Ezekiel that we heard on Pentecost.  The prophet Ezekiel is brought out to the middle of a valley of dry bones.  God asks the prophet, “Can these bones live?” The prophet responds by saying, “O Lord God, you know.”  And God instructs the prophet to prophesy to the dry bones, to tell them that they are going to live! As the prophet gets to prophesying, the bones start to rattle and a blustery wind blows through the valley and before long, a nation that was dried up and dead is alive again.  The dry bones live when we partner with God; when we act with the help of God.    Confession time. I regularly forget that I’m not actually in charge of the universe.  I regularly think that I’m somewhat responsible for everything in my purview in a way that is a kind of practiced functional atheism.  Like, I come to my tasks sometimes like there isn’t a God who is right there with me in those tasks!  Fortunately and unfortunately, I don’t think I’m alone in this.    So this is what I’m taking from the installation: it is my job to make space in all that we do, for us to listen for the help and direction and leading of God.  It is my job to open up space for God and God’s people to collaborate! And it is your job, to remind me regularly that while I am called to be your pastor, I do so with the help of God.  We are not alone in this project of being church for the world.    Moving forward, let’s be a church that collaborates with the Divine, the Spirit, with the God that we know in Jesus.  Let’s listen together and act upon what we hear.  In partnership with God, I wonder what we’ll be a part of raising up? I wonder what dry and dusty parts of us, God will raise up?   Peace, Pastor Bekki