First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

YAWN....just give me 5 more minutes. zzzzzzz........

May 3, 2016

I'm a morning person!!!!       (with that statement, I just lost half my readers)

    "Ugh, he's a morning person. No wonder he is so chipper and irritating!"  

 

While I would really like to be a night owl, it isn't easy for me to stay up much after 10 or 10:30 PM. My eyes get heavy and focus goes out the window. But, just like clockwork, I'm awake at 5:30 AM ready to roll out the day. I suppose it is a blessing and a curse. On the other hand, many people do not thrive (feel alive) until after 10 AM and then can go into the wee hours of the morning the next day and be productive.  In both case, we can contribute to society as long as we're awake. What would it look like if we all slept 20 hours a day and worked four (and all on the same schedule)?  

    The theme for the "National Day of Prayer" is 'Wake up America' and it implies that we are sleeping and ineffective. In many ways, I can generally agree the 'American' church is asleep at the wheel. Many (not all) have become comfortable meeting on Sunday for worship then kicking into neutral till next Sunday rolls around. Evangelizing a culture is too frightening to consider and it's easier to remain unattached to the very mission field Jesus commanded us to reach.

        “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.Declare to my people their

        rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1, NIV)    

Isaiah told Israel of God's clarion call to them to WAKE UP. God does this often. God needs us to be aware of our apathy, self-centeredness, and disobedience. God needs us to be actively engaging our world as redemptive agents for the Kingdom of God. 

    The solution to combat apathy is action and connection. If we as a church are content to live in the mindset of waiting for unchurched folks to enter our sanctuaries, then we'll continue to move toward extinction.  Meanwhile there is another way to move forward. It will require us to WAKE UP and become a church on the move. We are the people God intends to use to bring Jesus to one more person. Can we do it? Yes!!

       Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore

       GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the

       Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you

       always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV)

A new (well it's not a new idea) ministry started Monday evening at First UMC Lewistown.  We have formed a team of people to prayer walk our town. Each week, we'll move to another area of our town and pray for organizations and meet people with whom we might offer prayer. It is literally the church "moving with intention" among those who may never darken the threshold of a church.

 FYI: This is not a ministry only for Lewistown First UMC people. We're interested in joining with sisters and brothers from other church denominations to join with us as we awake and engage our community. Will you consider joining us? Great! I saw that hand raise! I'll sign you up!

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