How timely that our RiverStone Essential 100 readings this week are centered around Moses and the Exodus. Beckie and I can relate! We have been on an exodus from one house to another.
How often we’ve heard ourselves and others say, I can’t believe how much stuff I have! Beckie and I have been married 17 1/2 years and lived in your parsonage for four. Then we bought the parsonage furniture so that the church wouldn’t have to go back into the “furniture business” and so we wouldn’t have to shop for other furniture. There was a LOT to move! I’m TIRED, achy. I don’t know what I would have done without all the help some of you provided last Friday.
God told Moses to move the people in haste. “Get your stuff together and move out!” We started moving two weeks after finding out there was a contract on the parsonage. In between time, we shopped, financed, located, and went through all the steps of closing! Whew!!
Yet, that’s where our story and Moses’ and the Hebrews’ story diverges. We knew we were going to 916 E. Navajo, Moses only knew to follow the Lord’s manifested presence, either a column of smoke by day or fire by night. Moses demonstrated faith. He trusted God would provide and protect. God had a plan and Moses knew that he and the Hebrews were to play a significant role in that plan.
The plan? The heirs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were to be “priestly kingdom and holy nation” (Exodus 19:5). God’s purpose for them was missional. God’s providing their escape from Egypt was only for them. They were to be God’s representatives to the world and also be witnesses in their living to what it means to live in relationship with the Lord.
Centuries later, after Jesus’ life, death resurrection and ascension, Peter wrote to some Christians in little far flung communities of faith, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Our move is not about getting a house of our own in Farmington. Our move has a missional purpose. Our move is about being a part of the church’s neighborhood and being in ministry to the people of this part of Farmington. If RiverStone is to be located here, then we need to know the people here. We’re here for them, so as many as possible know Jesus.
Beckie and I are looking forward to getting to know our new neighbors. And, as John Wesley once said, “Always offer them Christ.”