Another "Huh?" Moment
I’m reading through 2 Kings the other day and get to Chapter 6 and just had to stop after I read this…
2 Kings 6:1-7
One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, “As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small. Let’s go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet.”
“All right,” he told them, “go ahead.”
“Please come with us,” someone suggested.
“I will,” he said. So he went with them.
When they arrived at the Jordan, they began cutting down trees. But as one of them was cutting a tree, his ax head fell into the river. “Oh, sir!” he cried. “It was a borrowed ax!”
“Where did it fall?” the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. Then the ax head floated to the surface.
“Grab it,” Elisha said. And the man reached out and grabbed it. (NLT)
That’s it. That’s the whole story! And I had yet another of my many, “Huh?” moments while reading The Bible.
Now this short little blurb of a story is wedged between two pretty significant stories. There’s greed and the resulting reward right before this, and Elisha informing on the Arameans, by the power of God, and traps them, following after. Two important spiritual lessons. But then, in-between, this floating ax thing. And so, as is my habit, I asked, “Okay Lord, what are You trying to tell me here?” I just felt there was something He wanted me to see. (Read it again right now and see what you think.)
After I spent the next several minutes praying over this story, here’s three things God gave me. First, it indicates that Elisha, in his faithfulness to the ministry God gave him, was being effective. The number of these young prophets and would-be servants of God was growing. So much so that they had outgrown their facility.
Second, the short account of the recovery of the ax head, and of iron that sinks and floats back up to the surface, had to stupefy the young men. I mean, yes, this is a little story of a short encounter, but that encounter was with God’s power. And that my friends, changes a person forever! Once, God spoke four words to me, and it changed my entire existence. So, this brief encounter had to demonstrate God’s reality in the lives, and subsequent ministries, of these young men.
But I also see a third thing revealed in this encounter. It is that God cares about even the small things in our living. After all, it was an ax head. How tragic could that be? Well, for the young man who lost it, evidently it was a big deal. Just look at his reaction. So, clearly he was very concerned about it being borrowed and then lost. Elisha picked up on that concern, and God did the rest.
After God revealed these things to me, I honestly just sat back and smiled. God is SO good!
So, if you read The Bible consistently, you undoubtedly will encounter your own “Huh?” moments. And the next time you do, please don’t just say to yourself, “Huh…that’s weird” and go on. Stop and see what God has on His agenda with you for those few moments. You just might end up smiling down deep in your soul. And that’s a great place to smile! (And then don’t forget to share what God gives you in the process.)
Pastor Rusty <><
MORE GOOD NEWS AND UPDATES:
1. 2or3 Campaign Thank You Celebration this Sunday, September 26: YOU are invited to join the fun as we celebrate the success of the 2or3 Campaign following ONE combined worship service at 10am. Lunch will be provided and we’ll enjoy brownies and ice cream. We’ll watch a fun video which demonstrates Matthew 18:20, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
2. Many have been wondering what is happening in the UMC. This Sunday September 26, all attendees of the Old Bethel Congregation are invited to attend a meeting about our denomination. Decisions will be made in the future and we need to know how this will effect Old Bethel. The meeting is at 3pm in the sanctuary. Speakers will be Mike Womack and Jerry Rairdon, who both have knowledge of the details about the UMC. Mike is a member of the General Conference and is also a member of the Mt. Auburn UMC. Jerry is a former pastor of Old Bethel, a current pastor at Noblesville First UMC, and a leader in the Room for All Coalition. All are encouraged to attend and so that all may participate, this meeting will be live-streamed and saved in Old Bethel’s YouTube library for later viewing. This is only the first of informational meetings.
3. Due to the overwhelming demands of the pandemic on the staff of the Marion County Public Health Department, they will only be offering flu shots at their locations this year. They will not be offering a flu shot clinic at Old Bethel this year. You may contact the Marion County Public Health Department at 317-221-2000.
4. The Youth Group is going to Lark Ranch Saturday, October 9. We will leave the church at 11am and return at 4pm. Students must bring $10 for admission plus any spending money parents want to give them. If your student would like to attend please contact Pastor Tonya at 317-359-9651 or firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Old Bethel & Partners Food Pantry is incredibly blessed to partner with Meijer on East Washington Street for their Simply Give Campaign. This campaign runs from now until October 2nd. Visit their store and purchase a $10 Simply Give card and Meijer will donate an additional $10. You can also pick up these cards in the lobby of the church. Thank you for continued support of the Old Bethel and Partners Food pantry!
6. The Intentional Faith Team is VERY excited to invite YOU to a visioning meeting for a new ministry that will focus on fostering new and closer relationships with our neighbors centered around breaking bread together! Jesus was often very deliberate in gathering persons around meals, where walls between us often seem less significant. We're not looking for people to do the work of the ministry (yet), but we want and need YOUR input and ideas to develop this ministry environment. God has plans for this powerful ministry and we want YOU to be a part of it as well as be an eyewitness to what He wants to do! Please join us on Wednesday, September 29th at 6:15 pm for a 45 minute meeting, which will include FOOD! We will meet in Fellowship B & C, and promise we will finish by 7:00 pm! (Did you catch that choir members?) AND we will feed you! As an in-person meeting, there will be plenty of room for distancing. Please come help shape what God is calling us to do in this VERY EXCITING NEW MINISTRY! Please contact Pastor Tonya Davis at email@example.com with any questions.
7. We are excited to host our annual Trunk or Treat! Please join us on Sunday October 24, 3-5pm in the parking lot as we greet our neighbors with creatively decorated trunks, lots of candy and our very own Celebration Puppeteers. We need several volunteers who are willing to decorate the trunk of their car and pass out candy. We will provide the candy, you provide the decorated trunk! If you are interested please contact Community Life Minister Arin Schellenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-359-9651. We will also start accepting donations of individually wrapped pieces of candy in the month of October.
8. Looking to get out of the house for a little bit? We still have openings for volunteer receptionist for Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon shifts (12:30-4pm). You can work each week or every other week. OR you might like to be a sub and serve when others are on vacation. Building traffic is slowly increasing and having receptionists to answer the phone is a GREAT help to our administrative staff! Contact Administrative Assistant Lynda Preston at email@example.com or 317-359-9651, extension 131.
9. This Sunday’s message notes are below.
September 26: Living Like Jesus: Helping Others
Jesus Christ is our Savior, Lord, hero, and ____________ for living.
When [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, [and] to let the oppressed go free…Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-18, 21 (NRSV, NKJV)
1. Jesus came to help the ___________.
Different types of poverty: First is ______________ poverty--where you’re out of money. Second is ___________ poverty—it’s when you lack integrity. The third is ______________ poverty--when you don’t know all that God planned for your life.
2. Jesus came to help the __________________________.
3. Jesus came to help the ____________________.
The number one thing that imprisons people today is ____________.
4. Jesus came to help the ____________.
______________ blindness: when we attribute all the good things in our lives to ______, and all the bad things in our lives to ________.
5. Jesus came to help the __________________.
The other name for spiritual oppression is _________________.
“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:15 (NLT)
First, we are called to __________ the Good News.
Second, we are called to ________ _________ the brokenhearted.
Third, we are called to ____________ ______________ to those who feel imprisoned.
Fourth, we are called to _______________ ________________ of sight to the blind.
Fifth, we are called to ______________ the oppressed.