Halleluiah, Glory be to God! Springtime is here, and I am pretty confident I can get a chorus of “amens” when I say this because we are more than ready for a change of seasons. Although I must admit, the recent morning chill does seem to feel as if winter still has us in its grip. Nonetheless, we know a new season is here because the trees are budding, flowers are beginning to bloom and for some of us, unfortunately, our allergies are starting to kick in. All of this magnificent growth is reminiscent of the new life that we, as believers find in celebrating Christ’s resurrection.
Emerging from the tomblike character of this brutal “storm-a-week” winter, I believe that Spring is a much anticipated symbol of resurrection and “new time” for us. This new time is a crucial time for us to take advantage of the opportunity to make our presence and ministry known in the community. In saying this, I am advocating something I call “full tilt” discipleship. Of course “full tilt” means pulling out all of the stops and giving our all to serve Jesus Christ and live out the Great Commission. Because we love this ministry and believe in this church, it is essential for us to spread to word to everyone we know that OLPC is a place of redemption and blessing for them. Of course, the key here is that we must believe it ourselves. As a resurrection community, we must understand that the risen Christ must be our motivation to rise in faith. In the coming days, I challenge you as disciples to be bold in inviting folks to church. We are called to do this not so folks can come “pay our bills” but so that folks can be part of a community of faith that knows that support, prayer and love come through our relationships with each other and most importantly with Jesus Christ. As we seek to do “full tilt” ministry, I share this poem which is simply titled A Prayer by Guatemalan poet and spiritual catalyst Julia Esquivel. I share this piece in hopes to inspire you to remember that ministry is a challenge that can be well met with God’s leading and power.
“You ought always to pray and not to faint.”
So we do not pray for easy lives;
we pray to be stronger women and men.
And we do not pray for tasks equal to our powers,
but for power equal to our tasks.
Then, the doing of our work will be no miracle
– we will be the miracle.
Every day may we wonder at ourselves
and the richness of life
which has come to us by the grace of God. Amen.
Rev. Alonzo T. Johnson
Rev. Alonzo T. Johnson was Pastor of Oak Lane Presbyterian Church from 2003 to 2014.