Foundry United Methodist Church

Rev. DeeAnne Lowman, Associate Pastor

 

 

 

Places and People

Sunday, June 17, 2007

 

 

Genesis 12: 1-3

 

 

Yahweh/God is talking with Abraham and telling him about an extraordinary promise.  This promise included a place where people could live and worship, a group of people (a nation) that they could be called and be in community with, and the promise that all the families in that nation would be blessed, not just some.  This seems like a mighty big promise for a rag-tag horde of refugees that didn’t have much to their names.  But this was the promise, along with the promise that Abraham would have many more descendents who would also receive this same promise.  This promise was for those yet to be born and even those yet to be conceived! 

 

Thank you to our two youth, Matthew and Efayomi, who shared their testimony with us today. They, too, are heirs of the same promise and have begun to live into that promise.  Before them, many, many people received a similar promise; rather, they lived into a promise they anticipated from God.  There would be a place called Foundry – a place where we could live and worship.  There would be a community that would receive those who entered, either by birth or by chance encounter or intentional wrangling.   And those people who entered, regardless of their origin or their own personal history or the makeup of their family would receive blessing untold.  There would be single parent families, single people; young married folks; young, married folks with children; older, more mature people who came here in their later years; and people and families that fit all manner of the mold of a family.  All these would be blessed, and all would be welcomed.  This is the historical blessing that Foundry received so many years ago. 

 

So what is our role in living into the blessing now, at this time and place in history?  The obvious answer is “keeping the church going for future generations.”  Yes, that is an obvious answer, and an important one.  But how do we do that?  How can we possibly anticipate what the needs of the community will be in years to come? We can’t completely, but we can take some hints from the promise to Abraham’s folks. 

 

“The Land that I will show you…” God will provide for us and for those who come after us a vision, a sense of hope for the future.  Not only will God provide for them a place, all the available resources for guiding God’s people will be there. Remember that later in the story God provided manna – sustenance. According to Scripture it was collected before sunrise, before it melted in the sun.  So there was an “expiration date” if you will on what God sent to sustain God’s people.  What is it that we need to collect before its time passes here?  I’m not sure, but I imagine it may have something to do with the blessing of the gifts of the new members in our midst as well as the wealth of gifts within those who have been here a while longer. Perhaps we need to begin to collect the sustenance that God had blessed us with right here, now.  So many gifted people – here to provide a future for God’s church here in this place.  Perhaps we need to continue to pay attention to the blessing here right now, so that there will be in fact be blessings for the future.

 

This is the way we bless well into the future; use the gifts and money and manna that God has provided now for the expectations and hope for the years to come.  What will our “land that God will show us all” look like?  We need to be open to what our Canaan will be like, realizing that where we are going is not going to look like where we’ve been.  We make plans for Matthew and Efayomi, and the children of their generation.  So many times I hear well-intentioned people say that we need to do something for the youth because they are “the future of the church.”  Clearly today is a huge reminder that they (children and youth) are indeed among us now, so what we should be doing is making certain that what they hear, what they experience, and how they engage with our church family RIGHT NOW will impact their engagement with the church in the future.  Each family and any part of those families are part of the blessing that WE have received today.  So how we bless them will impact how this church is blessed for future generations AND RIGHT NOW.

 

What a blessing we have with the presence of young people, children and sages all together here at Foundry!  We must live into the future; we must trust into the future.  While we do need to live here and now, our blessing comes when we leave where we are right now and accept the promise of a new land, living into the newness of God’s people, and remembering that we, too, are the people who have received the blessings of Yahweh. 

 

 

 

 

                 

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