We are Called To Greater Things
“You will see greater things than these” John1:51 CEB
In John Chapter 1 we find the story of the calling of Nathanael. Philip had tried to tell Nathanael whom he encountered. Nathanael was not sold on Philip’s pitch of who Jesus was. So, Philip invited him to come and see. When Nathanael encountered Jesus, he had a change of mind of who Jesus really was. Jesus in verse 50 said: “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these! 51 I assure you that you will see heaven open and God’s angels going up to heaven and down to earth on the Son of Man.”
If you remember a few weeks ago the sermon series was called Greater Things. I came across this story on preachingtoday.com while working on the sermons and never used it and I think this is a great place to share.
I was visiting a bird-supplies store when I mentioned to the owner that my wife and I had owned a hummingbird feeder but had never once seen a hummer at the feeder, so we tossed it out. I concluded that there were no hummers near our home.
The shop owner asked where we lived, I told him, and then he said, “They are there! Not only do some of your neighbors have hummers on their feeders, but hummers are all over the village.” What he said next was the take-home line: “You just have to have eyes to see them. Once you do, you will see them everywhere. They are small and fast and camouflaged, but they are not that hard to spot.”
Eventually we bought a new feeder, filled it, and waited until our eyes got accustomed to the sight of hummers. We now see them everywhere. When other people go on a walk with us, we often observe a hummer—but it is rare that our friends spot one. It takes experience. You need to learn to spot them out of the side of your eyes and acclimate to their habits of zooming, darting, and taking shelter on obscure branches and telephone lines. Once you’ve learned to spot a hummer you will see them everywhere because they ARE everywhere.
Like angels. They, too, are all around us. Few of us have seen one because we first have to learn what we are looking for. In a good book about angels, Martin Israel, quoting a friend, wrote this: “Eternity lies all round us and only a veil prevents us seeing it.” The hum of angels surrounds us, and we only need ears to hear it or eyes to see them. Or perhaps a special sense for them. After all, the Bible tells us that Balaam’s donkey could see an angel that Balaam himself could not see.
I believe that Tahlequah United Methodist Church is called for greater things. Do you? If you are struggling to see the greater things, start with prayer. A simple one can be “Lord open my eyes that I may see the greater things the Church and I are called to see.” Getting your eyes accustomed to the sight of these greater things may be your need. So, here is your new bird feeder, the 3rd quarter giving statement. (There is a copy of this on the website in case you missed it.). You will see many different great things that are going on in the life of this church.
Our 2019 stewardship focus is Greater Things. During the mission moment I am going to share how your giving leads to greater things. We will have pledge Sunday on October 28th. In the newsletter we have included a pledge card and there will be some in the office and Narthex. Before you fill out the card, I invite you to; Begin with Prayer – Thank God for blessing you and ask for guidance and discernment. Next Assess Your Finances – Take a look at your annual income and your budget. How is your faith reflected in your spending? Then Consider How You Give – In Worship every Sunday, through the mail, or on-line by setting up an account with our online option at www.tahlequahumc.org/give Last, Make a Commitment. Are you at the 10% which is the known amount to Tithe. Determine the percentage of your income you will give in the coming year, pray about stepping up that percentage by 1% to 3% and complete your Annual Giving Commitment Card. If you are not yet tithing (giving 10%), consider increasing the percentage you are giving each year until you reach ten percent. Remember your annual commitment of tithes and offerings supports the Tahlequah UMC ministries both within and outside the walls of our church. We are currently working on the 2019 budget and when we can look at projected incomes it will help us in setting the budget.
As we enter into Pastor Appreciation Month. I am thankful for you. We had a great summer around the Church and I am looking forward to the fall.
Peace Be With You,
Pastor Matt Franks