Jeremiah 1:6,9 – "Alas, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young." Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I have put my words in your mouth." (NIV 2011)
Several weeks ago, I went to the closing of a church building in a small community near my home town. It was Knox Presbyterian Church, Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada. I wanted to find out what it felt like. At the end of the service, we all gathered outside the front door for the benediction. It was sad and felt awful! No longer could services be held in that lovely church. I felt bereft. We were closed out. That has also happened in many other church locations, for in today's world, making money means more in our contemporary society than following Jesus. Few except seniors are free on Sunday mornings to come to worship Jesus these days. People are busy doing other things on a Sunday like family time, working, or going to sports functions. Church buildings are being closed as their senior members die and no one is left to carry on.
Years ago, when I was ordained and sent to an extension church to build it up, we went out to our neighbours with the news that we were in the neighbourhood. We were welcomed. Sure, I walked by house after house with my dog close by, delivering pamphlets. That wouldn't likely be safe now. How do we share Christ's news today in this society where we don't even know our near neighbour? Is Christ's news even being shared today in the homes we pass by? When I was a child, we gathered on our knees by our chairs around the dinner table every evening to pray as a family. Christ Jesus was a family friend to whom we talked daily. But where is there a home these days where the family gathers around the table to pray? Today's families rarely take the time in their busy lives to talk about Jesus, so children grow up not knowing anything personal about Him.
What can I do? I am in my eighties, but I feel like Jeremiah: "I do not know how to speak," and I can't go from door to door anymore. But with the Lord's help, I can try to share my love for Christ in a modern way: social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I try to use them, but feel so cut off. It's so impersonal. But I can pray, though, and I do, daily, as Jesus gives me the words to say. The Lord is reaching out His hand and touching my mouth, and He says to me, "I have put my words in your mouth." He is touching you, too.
The Lord is showing His people today how to share His words with others. It is a new, modern way that He is guiding us into. We need to pray our way through with His leading. As church people continue to worship and share His words with others today, His love reaches out in many ways, even when we are locked out of the church building.
Prayer: Lord, we can feel so lost and sad these days, but Your Word fills us with hope. You are still heard today as You reach out to Your people speaking through all of us who love You. Help us to say the words that You give us, as we share with family members, neighbours, and friends. In Your love, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Praise To The Lord The Almighty" (Lyrics)