We are in an interesting series at church that explores calling and how each of is created by God for a purpose. Presumably that purpose is to help solve the various problems in the world – pain, injustice, hate, isolation, separation from God and the environment. Coupled with this series is a small group study called “Rooted” that was started in Africa and has made its way to the US where it has become a popular small group study in churches across America.
Ironically, our church just recently adopted this program even though one of our pastors was involved in the creation of the study ten years ago when he was a young intern working at Nairobi Chapel, our partner church in Kenya. So it has come full circle – and our church is encouraging people to go through Rooted – a ten-week study that explores elements of the Christian faith and helps create community. It is hoped that these Rooted groups will continue as small groups long after the program is over.
Well, more than 750 people signed up for the inaugural Rooted study that was finished last Friday evening and there was a church worship event that celebrated the finale of the program. After the dinner and musical worship, baptisms were performed and many people chose to demonstrate their commitment to Jesus by going through this most important rite. All in all, it was a grand evening – a highlight in the life of the church.
As people were leaving the parking lot, one woman had a seizure and her car veered off the driveway into a pond located in front of the church. As the car was sinking to the bottom, two off duty first responders who volunteer at the church as parking and security personnel, jumped in the water, dove beneath the surface, broke the driver’s window and pulled the woman out and to the surface. Of course, it was very cold, and while everyone was treated at local hospitals for exposure, the story has a happy ending. Everyone survived and is well. What a blessing!
But it was clear, as police and other first responders from nearby communities converged at the church, that this could very easily have turned into a tragedy. The Senior and Executive Pastors were standing at the edge of the water praying for the woman’s safe recovery and many from the church joined in. Cheers went up from the crowd as the off duty volunteers brought her to the surface.
What’s so interesting about the whole event is the story that the survivor told the Senior Pastor prior to service this morning. She said that as the car went under the water, she couldn’t breathe, that she knew she was dying and that in her final prayer to God, she asked Him if this was the whole point of her life – to die like this?
She then recounted that she heard a voice say, “No!” Just then, the window broke, arms reached into the car and pulled her out through the broken window and up to the surface. She is convinced that the voice was the voice of God. And He apparently has more for her to do in her life to fulfill her calling.
Our verse for tonight comes from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. It highlights the fact that God created us for a specific purpose. Paul tells us, in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
My encouragement this evening is that each of us has been created by God to do something special, something unique, that we are more qualified to do than anyone in eternity past or anyone in eternity future. That’s pretty special. My prayer is that you will explore your calling and pray that God will reveal to you exactly what you are here to accomplish. Because I am confident that “we were made for more.” Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…