I grew up in the town of gates, I am sure you all have been there. It’s a small but busy town; the traffic is quite congested at times. Well there is one very busy intersection. It’s the intersection of Howard and Buffalo roads. On one corner there is a Tim Horton’s, across from that there is Dunkin Donuts. Opposite of those is a Hess station and a vehicle service station. Through the years the tenants of those spaces have changed but the busyness and controlled chaos has not. You have traffic converging there seemingly at the same time along with cars turning left and right pretty much continually and it can pretty much drive you nuts. Imagine if you were forced at the age of 8 or 10 to cross this intersection to buy bread.
In the scripture reading today we find ourselves with the church of Ephesians. Paul is writing to them about a great many things, but you know what he is writing to us too. I often feel that the churches Paul writes to are our sisters and brothers. The issues happening weather they are conflicts or joys are mirrored in our congregations today. So Paul has a few subjects of mentoring here I think we can abide by and use in our lives today. He tells us of the administration of God’s grace. God revealed to Paul that he could somehow be greater than what he thought, but it did not end there. He spoke of the two most populous cultures at the time the Jews and the gentiles. Although very different he believed they could live and worship together. He says “although I am less than the least of all the Lords people”. Let me ask how many of you have felt this way? I know I have and sometimes I still do.
When I was a young, around 8 or 10 I was very much a high energy child, seemingly into and breaking everything. But you know there was one part of my being that was very afraid of anything that seemed out of control or frantic. Like a very busy intersection of traffic. For whatever reason other than a life lesson, I found myself with my mother in the parking lot of the Hess station. She said she needed gas, she then instructed me to walk over to the opposite corner to the bread store and by some bread. I was to cross at every corner until I returned to the car. At the time I had no idea this was a learning experience. I proceeded to completely melt down screaming and crying begging not to go. But my mother did not take no for an answer, she pulled me out of the car and told me in no certain terms to move it or she was going to embarrass me more than I was already embarrassed.
You see I tell this story because of what Paul is speaking of in verse 12. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. We don’t have to be intimidated by thinking God is only using some special picked out people to spread the good news. Paul felt the revelation God gave him was not his discovery but an unveiling to him to give to others. I like wise feel this. I don’t stand before you today with special powers. I worship with you, together, all of us being God’s Holy Apostles and Saints. God is indeed calling us. What does that look like? Really that is the question I have. Who in our communities seem so distant from each other. There are many. How can we come together regardless of denomination, sexual orientation, political affiliation, race, social status? Well friends the answer is knowing we are graced by God and having the confidence to step off the corner even though we don’t want to because we feel safe right where we are.
Well I crossed the first intersection crying like crazy. I just looked real quick and ran as fast as I possibly could. I looked back and thought WOW I did it. I was boosted by my ability and stopped crying and started to calm down. I crossed the second running as fast as the first but I was not as hysterical. I bought the bread came out of the store and went across the street not running but I did have purpose in my step. I came to the last crossing and walked across, I faced my fear, and I gained confidence. Finally I got in the car. My mother looked at me and says, “See that was not all that bad was it”?
Where is God calling you? What place in your life do you need the Holy Spirit to enter to give you the confidence to be the person you know you are? Where do you think God is calling the community of faith here at Byron Presbyterian church? Be confident in the fact this church can attain anything because God will carry you there. I no longer fear the unknown; I don’t worry about what might happen. Thanks be to God!