Be Prepared

What a wonderful season of God’s abundance this Summer has been! I feel like I’m the most blessed Pastor in this country to have the opportunity to share in ministry with my mentor, Pastor Hal, and to be able to take his legacy of leadership forward into the next generation.

As I preached this sermon series in June called “Be Prepared” (watch the whole series again on our YouTube channel!), 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 Hal and Jean’s leadership to prepare us. God has used parents and grandparents and teachers 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 Zonnumi (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 September he’s got a race for us to run.

Come October he’s got a journey for us to travel.

Come December 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 about to take together. Let us pray each day this summer for God to make us ready.