June 13, 2019
Covenant Presbyterian has one mission: to make disciples of Jesus Christ who love God, love one another and serve in the world.
As we welcome a new Associate Pastor to our church, Dr. David Hunsicker, and as we launch a new website and many new ministries, I can’t help but feel excited about what the Holy Spirit is doing to prepare us to carry out our mission in Huntsville:“
“Making disciples of Jesus Christ who love God, love one another and serve in the world.”
As I preached in a sermon series last year “Be Prepared” (see below for the video links!), I have been very aware that God has been preparing both me and this church for many years to serve Huntsville in this next season.
God has used the pastors, elders and deacons of our church to prepare us. God has used our parents and grandparents and mentors to prepare us. God has used the Holy Spirit in our hearts to prepare us. And God has used his Holy Word in scripture to prepare us.
All of these things have tied a towel around our waist.
That’s the core image from my sermon series. The Greek word here is zoh-NU-mee. It means to tie something around your waist. Metaphorically it means that you are “ready for action.”
You can understand why if you’ve ever seen me in my office at 10:58AM on a Sunday morning. Sometimes with all the wonderful ministry we pack into the Sunday School hour I find myself rushing to get ready for the 11:00 service! I tangle a tie around my neck. I rumple my robe onto my shoulders…
And then I pick up the edge of the robe … and run down the stairs to be on time for worship.
That’s what the ancient idea of zoh-NU-mee means. By tying the edge of a long robe up above your knees, you are ready to run. You are ready to stoop. You are ready to serve.
In other words, you’re “prepared.”
So when Jesus ties a towel around his waist at the last supper, he scoops the hem of his robe above his knees. He is saying to each of us “This is what it looks like to be a disciple – are you prepared?”
I have a deep feeling in my bones that God wants us to zoh-NU-mee this Summer.
Because come the Fall
he’s got a race for us to run.
he’s got a journey for us to travel.
he’s got a feast for us to serve.
And he needs everyone of us to be prepared to MOVE!
But the good news of the Gospel is that we don’t do it alone. It is the Holy Spirit that has made us ready since before we were born. It is the Holy Spirit that equips us with power beyond ourselves in the present. It is the Holy Spirit that straightens the path ahead of us as we step out into the future.
And as we tie a towel around our waist to share the good news, to pray, to welcome, to heal, to listen, to bless and to serve, we will find that the Risen Christ is already in our midst, stooped down low, washing the feet of our neighbors.
I am so excited for this journey we are taking together. Let us pray each day this summer for God to prepare the way and for the Spirit to make us ready.
If you’d like to hear more teaching on this theme of preparation – check out this sermon series I preached last year:
“Master Planning” on Luke 17:7-10, Luke 12:35-40
“Ready or Not” on John 13:1-17
“Planning Commission” on Isaiah 6:1-8, Jeremiah 1:4-10
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