Why We Buy the Field

rootedchristThis week we’ve been looking at Jeremiah 32: 1-15; 36-44, and I’ll have to admit it’s been very poignant for me.  Everyone (or almost everyone) here at St. Matthew’s knows that we are in the midst of a Captial Campaign to expand and renovate our facilities with an emphasis on community, worship, and youth and children.  It is a big dream.  A big vision.  One that has been in the works for over three years.  

And, just to be honest, it seems at times like we’ve hit roadblock after roadblock.  We’ve had changes in leadership in various places within our church, we have had the normal stress of church, we’ve had all manner of hiccups.  We thought we were getting it all figured out.  And then the week we get ready to launch information meetings across the church to talk more about the vision, the potential United Methodist split burst wide across the news, adding another entire level of stress to this season.

All of this was enough to make me ask, Lord, is this right?  Are we doing the right thing?  I’ve wondered, I’ve prayed, I sought counsel and advice from people that I love and respect.

And in the end, I kept coming back to this passage.  When I read this passage you know what I see?  I see Jeremiah buying a field at the worst possible time. Seriously, what a terrible time to buy a field.  Babylon is going to destroy everything.  It’s going to be bad.  There is no good, logical, reason to buy this field.  Seriously, bad move.

But he bought it. Why? Because God told him to and he had faith that God is true to His word.  He believed, with all that he was, that God was calling him to this, even though everyone may have thought he lost his mind. He was going to be obedient in this moment.  He believed in what God was calling him to and the vision that God had for him and for the people.  Even though it looked like the worst time, he believed in what God was going to do.  In spite of the trouble that seems to be at the door. So, he bought the field.

There’s where I am.  I honestly don’t have any long term answers for a lot of things.  But I am not worried,  let me tell you what I do know.  I believe in our conference and the leadership of our Bishop.  I truly believe that everything is going to be alright.

But, here’s what I believe, in even more.  I believe in St. Matthew’s.  I believe in the prayer and the discernment that has gone into this moment.  I believe in the work that has happened to get us to this point.  I believe in the people that I have walked beside and I believe in the vision that we have.

I believe in the people here. I believe in who we are and who we can be.  I know that I’m a better person because of this church. I believe that my family is closer to the Lord because of this church. I’ve seen us serve.  I’ve seen us pray.  I’ve seen us give.  I’ve literally seen lives changed because of who this church is.  I believe that hundreds of people each week hear the good of God’s grace in this place. I believe that our community, our region, and our world needs what our church offers. I believe that with all that I am.

So, I think we feel like a little like Jeremiah.  Maybe it’s a terrible time to buy a field.

But I believe in this vision. I’ve wept over it.  I prayed. I’ve worried. I’ve been tempted to walk away from it.  Frankly, that’s probably the easier option. But I’m not.  I believe in what God is doing at St. Matthew’s. In what He wants to do here.  This Sunday is our time of commitment to our campaign.  And I’m buying a field.

Will you join me?

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