I can’t help but be excited -- it’s Pumpkin Festival week, and that’s the social event of the year in Central Illinois. Well, some people would point to the Turkey Festival in Tremont, or the Heart of Illinois Fair in Peoria... but it’s really the Pumpkin Festival in Morton (I mean, can you get pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin chili at those other fairs?).
It was also the first week of our Sunday School classes here at First Covenant this Sunday. From what I heard, all of the classes went pretty well, but I know that we had some excellent discussion in the Adults class that I taught this week (ask someone to tell you what the Jesuits in China, Brother Lawrence in France, and the Amish in Germany all had in common... and why it’s so important to think through for us today). I’d encourage you to come next Sunday and take part in our interactive Sunday School time in order to grow as a Christian by interacting with your brothers and sisters, as well as to help your fellow Christians grow by interacting with you. As we just discussed in our Youth Group, none of us was ever designed to work on growing in the Lord outside of the community of faith.
Besides, I promise to talk this Sunday about American wars you’ve never heard of and climate change -- how much more topical can you get?
Oh, and please make it a point to clear some time after our service on the 27th for an all-church Connections Lunch. The sign-up sheet for food is in the Narthex, but even if you can’t bring food, please do bring yourself.
In our message this week, we continued looking at the story of Moses, as it’s actually presented in the Bible. Again, I have to say it that way because most of what most of us think that we know about Moses, we actually know from movies, rather than from Scripture. For instance, do you tend to picture Aaron doing all of the talking, or Moses? Do you picture Moses doing most of the signs and wonders, or Aaron? See, Moses was supposed to do all of it, but when he kept whining about it, God said that He’d use Aaron to be the mouthpiece, while Moses did the miracles.
Incidentally, Moses still tried to get Aaron to do both parts.
The fact is, Moses simply wasn’t very good at this whole deliverer thing. He wimped out on what he was supposed to say to Pharaoh ("Let us go, or God will send a plague to... um... us Israelites!"), and later he complained that he was doing all of the work and God wasn’t doing anything.
But here’s the thing: Pharaoh wasn’t obstinate because Moses stunk at being a deliverer, and the people’s situation didn’t grow worse because God stunk at being sovereign. Even with everyone complaining to everyone else, everything was still going precisely according to God’s plan -- a plan that He’d even explained to Moses in detail earlier, in Midian.
So the next time that you or I are tempted to think that things are going “wrong” or that someone’s “at fault” because life just suddenly got dark or is increasingly getting hard, let’s stop and think for a second. Maybe someone really is making mistakes, here or there (Moses surely was). But maybe God is nonetheless still doing precisely what He’d planned to do, to accomplish precisely what He wishes to accomplish in and through us, and it’s just that we simply don’t like what He’s doing...