All in God’s Time

O, we can relate to David today. ‘Singer of songs to God. We know this song, 1st hand! “We’ve waited patiently for the Lord. And he’s leaned our way and listened and heard our cry. He’s drawn us up from many a miry bog, and set our feet upon a rock. He’s put a new song in our mouth, a wonderful song of praise!” (Ps. 40) Over a decade, in fits and starts, in season and out, we’ve labored, dreamt, prayed, envisioned this place in a new form. And now, at last, we’ve arrived. In a few moments you’ll really see as never before The Nichols-Bethel Welcome Center. You have or will shortly receive a mailing that will reinforce this message. And in a few days, we’ll decide on this proposal. I am immensely excited. And grateful. To so many who’ve worked so hard, and to so many more who’ve already given so generously. (In fact, if we count from the very start, the grounds required, we’ve already paid in cash about half the cost of the project. Only the building itself remains to be subscribed.) But mostly, I thank God. I have an immensely clear sense that God has been guiding us. When down, God has lifted us. When it seemed impossible, God has insisted, “All things are possible.” When we’ve needed to make a sharp and unexpected turn, it’s felt like God has signaled, “Go this way.” A new team, a unique time, and gracious partners have come our way, builders to banks.

Jesus, Jesus himself teaches us about time. In today’s lesson, he does it with something as simple and common (where he lived) as a fig tree. He says, “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know God’s Chosen is near, at the very gates. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place.” Mtt. 24: 32-34 So many things have come together here, now. Even the contour of the ground is changing before our eyes. Doesn’t it feel like the branch is tender and putting forth leaves? Could it be? Is this our time to bear fruit for the Master? We’ll have to pray and ponder on that. Could it be that we’re living in a moment of God’s choosing? That Christ is at our gates? Oh, just one more thought. Jesus mentions the matter of generation. Not everybody gets to see what some folks get to see. Some are privileged to view that “It  only comes once” time when God in Christ is heard to say, “Behold, I am doing a new thing.” I tell you, it’s a sight to behold!

So let’s take a look. We’ll take a virtual tour and then linger awhile on the vision for a Welcome Center. And then, with prayer on our lips and love for god on our hearts, we’ll get to ponder, is this… All in God’s Time?

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