The warm weather is finally here -- and so is that pesky time change. It’s amazing how many FCCers were stumbling around like zombies this Sunday morning, trying to adjust to having lost an hour’s sleep this week.
But we had a great morning of worship this Sunday anyway. Our Adult Sunday School class on Church History had some very fruitful discussion about different schools of thought about how to read prophecy (well, and about the defeat of the Spanish Armada, as well as the end of the Wars of Religion in France, closing out our discussion of the Reformation). If you’re not into history, all of that may sound dull or dry or “overly scholarly” -- but history is really just “life, the good parts version,” and we’re all being blessed by being able to see how yesterday’s brothers and sisters in Christ have formed (and informed) today’s church. An interactive stroll through history truly does change the way that you look at the world around you today -- and with our daily newscasts haunted by ISIS attacks, race riots, and international sabre-rattling, having some solid and long-range perspectives on how God has handled those things in the past can be really helpful.
Our message this week was brought by Michael Uhler (again, if you’ll recall, I was supposed to be in Australia in February, so I’d opened the opportunity for a few FCCers to share in my absence -- and Michael was one who still felt like he wanted to share what God laid on his heart, even though I ended up staying in the States).
Michael shared about our fears of rejection as a species. We’re afraid to be rejected by potential romantic partners, by friends, by family, by co-workers, by society at large -- and that rejection can paralyze us and prevent us from stepping out in ways that we really should.
But that’s nothing new, and you’re not alone in feeling that way. Samuel felt rejected by Israel when they wanted a king instead of just a prophet leading them. Ezekiel felt rejected when the people ignored his prophecies altogether (which God even told him in advance that they’d do). Peter rejected what Jesus was saying about His upcoming death -- and ended up publicly turning his back on Jesus when push came to shove. Paul rejected Christianity completely, until Christ got his attention -- and after that, he faced the same sort of rejection from others (he was stoned, he was arrested, he was run out of town -- and one time, he only got out safely because they lowered him over the wall in a basket).
Your personal ministry may not look the way you’d expected it to look -- but neither did Ezekiel’s. You may not get the outcomes you desired -- but you don’t do ministry for the outcomes, but rather for the ministry itself. You may have to suffer rejection or discomfort in ministry -- but so did Jesus, and it’s an honor to walk alongside of Him in that. You may feel like you’re the only one who’s ever had these struggles -- but Hebrews 11 gives us a wonderful picture of how yesterday’s brothers and sisters have paved the way for you and your life in Christ today, experiencing the same struggles.
Instead of rejecting rejection, why not try embracing it, for Christ’s sake?