For most of my adult life, I have been focused on raising a family, earning a living, and preparing for “the future.” I have recently entered a new phase where all that gave me purpose is moot. My children are grown, my traditional career has ended, and “the future” has arrived.
Faced with this transition, I have been asking God to reveal what He has in store for me and help me align with His Will. I am struck by the certainty that our purpose is to live a life that glorifies God and bears witness to His love and reconciliation. My new job is to love God and to love my neighbor. While this is a tall order, I believe He gives us the power to do amazing things if we are willing to seek Him.
I am fond of the devotional book Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby & Richard Blackaby. On May 23rd, the reading included this powerful thought: “Missions is God finding those whose hearts are right with Him and placing them where they can make a difference for His Kingdom.”
If one looks around our Sanctuary on a Sunday morning, it is easy to see that the pews are not as full as they once were. Members have left JFUMC for a variety of reasons. However, Dave and I are committed to staying at JFUMC because we are convinced that we are not here by accident. God has led every person in our congregation to this place as part of His plan.
If we view Jacksonville as our mission field, then our perspective shifts from an internal focus. We begin to see that the larger “we” is an entire community of people with diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and cultures. Feeding people is important work. But, we are also called to build relationships. Mission 5000 provides an incredible opportunity to reach out and get to know our neighbors… to swap stories and find common ground. I would encourage all Church members to come and share a meal with someone you don’t know. When we extend the hand of Christian love to our neighbors, miracles happen.
Cindy Kyser Buck