I find it quite amazing that God decided to birth nations through a man (Abraham) who was impotent and a woman (Sarah) who was barren. Standard human logic and wisdom would say why would God not chose the most virile man and fertile woman to fulfil His word to birth nations?
"Many nations were born out of a man who was impotent and a woman who was barren."
Perhaps the reason is because God does God’s greatest work on earth through the most broken, weak and powerless who will just believe and trust God to fulfil His promises through them despite their impotence and barrenness in the eyes of the world. Perhaps God looks for people who will trust and have faith in God’s word despite the impossible circumstances and impossible physical realities they face. It seems that God loves to work with impossible situations mixed with human faith.
So, our 'impotence and barrenness' might be the greatest asset we have so that God can fulfil the promises God has made to us and what God wants to achieve on the earth through us.
What has God called you to do? What seemingly impossible promise has God made to you? Maybe it's a business that will be a channel to bless nations and transform the lives of orphans, widows and the poor, maybe it's a ministry that will transform cities even a nation, perhaps a continent, maybe it's a social enterprise that will transform the lives of under-resourced children by offering them quality education, maybe it's being a good spouse or parent, maybe it's “whatever” , you fill in the blank.
With everything happening in the world right now – a war in Ukraine, watching millions of families flee from their homes and die in the process, because of one crazed man, intent on taking back those areas that used to belong to the Soviet Union, feeling economic inflation in the United States and abroad, still sky-high levels of fear because of Covid19, dreams, opportunities and businesses seemingly lost, maybe into bankruptcy .... the list goes on and on and on and ...... on. We are certainly walking in this territory (where most of us are impotent and barren) right now with very little control over what happens next.
But perhaps this is the best place to be in and the right conditions through which God will birth and bring to life the seemingly impossible through our faith (like He did through Abraham and Sarah)! And through Christ, God gives barren fig trees another chance to become fruitful as we hear in our Gospel reading this week from Luke 13:1-9.
As we come out of the barren-ness of the Church’s closure during the pandemic, looking for new ways to be the Church, we are at St. John's restoring some of the things we lost during the closure. One of those things is the making and sale of Brunswick Stew. Our Brunswick Stew is coming back, although not exactly in the same way as before, being sold in the Fall at the Church Bazaar, but returning this Spring and sold at both St. John’s and Randolph Market on Saturday, March 26, 2022 between 10 AM and 2 PM. There are order forms where you can pre-order, to make sure you can get some. If you can help preparing (March 25th) or selling (March 26th) or both, please get in touch with Brian McDonald. You can also sign up Sunday in the Narthex to help and also to order.
Easter is coming soon and if you would like to sign up for an Easter Lily to adorn the church Easter Morning in memory or in Honor of someone, please sign up either on the sheet in the Narthex on Sunday or on-line at our webpage www.stjohnshopewell.org to donate. If you write a check, please put in check memo: Easter Lilies. Thanks.
Please remember those who are fighting for freedom and those fleeing for their lives by your prayers and by giving to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund (ERD), either through St. John’s, or by logging on to the ERD – Ukraine Crisis Fund here. Be sure to donate on behalf of yourself rather than St. John’s, Hopewell in order to get a tax-deduction. If you give through St. John’s, we will send the money to ERD as we get it. It will be included on your quarterly statements for tax purposes. It is however, up to you how you give.
As you no doubt know, we are meeting in-person at St. John’s! Please join us at either 8 AM or 10:30 AM for worship. But also remember we continue streaming online on YouTube and Facebook each Sunday at 10:30 AM even while we continue services live in the church.
May God’s grace and love fill the barren places in your life. With blessings and peace, I am, faithfully yours, Fr. Bill+