If you weren’t at church yesterday, I think you missed one of Pastor Bill’s best sermons. It was based on the story of the paralytic man being taken to see Jesus. Because of the crowd, his friends had to carry him to the roof of the home where Jesus was speaking, cut a hole in the roof and then lower him into the room. Their faith in Jesus was so great they knew that no matter what, they had to get their friend in to see Jesus to be healed.
Pastor Bill made the statement that our God is “an out-of-the-box God.” That sacrificing his only son to atone for our sins was a pretty extraordinary act. It was the same with the friends of the paralytic. They thought “out-of-the-box” in their efforts to save their friend. They worked together towards one goal.
And this is where Pastor Bill got to his point … that we here at Plymouth need to do two things. We need to “think out-of-the-box” in terms of what we can do to make Plymouth effective in the lives of our friends and community. Secondly, we need to keep working together in a spirit of cooperation.
Tonight’s episode of Dateline NBC featured a story on the Greek cruise liner, the Oceanos. This ship sank during rough seas in August of 1991. The captain managed to be one of the earliest groups airlifted to the safety of a helicopter and then taken to land. Most of higher ranking officers also abandoned the ship. However, not one person lost their lives during this disaster. And it was due to the heroics of the ship’s activity director and entertainment crew. These people took it upon themselves to see what had to be done, and then did it. The ship’s activity directors’ last comment in the show was basically, “ we were all ordinary people who worked together.”
Now, we’re not a sinking ship. But we do want our church to grow, we do want to have a greater impact within the community, we do want to keep telling the “Good News.” We have an upcoming major repair to our church steeple that will require some fundraising efforts. We will be having a booth each week during Plainfield’s Cruise Nights. Vacation Bible School will be coming up in the next couple of months. And our mission efforts in the month of June will be focused on Plymouth’s team, “Save Yours,” participation in the Relay for Life cancer walk.
In other words, there will be many upcoming opportunities for us to work together. We may not always like the way the people in charge of certain activities / programs organize or run things. This may, at times, even keep us from cooperating or participating. We need to keep the “big picture” in mind and remember, “its’ not about me.” (I think this was part of Pastor’s message on 5/16). As Pastor Bill said in closing today, the person who fixed the hole in the roof was just an ordinary person “who served Jesus because of who He was rather than because of what He did. The person who patched up the roof was someone who followed Jesus, knowing that the cross comes before the crown. Finally the person who patched up the roof after the crowd left certainly loved Jesus enough to think that no job is insignificant. Unquestionably, God’s kingdom is being advanced by people of little talent doing little jobs for a big God. It’s exciting to know that God needs every roof-patcher He can find!”