A Mixed Up Minister?
What insights does the book of Jonah have for ministers today?
Led by The Revd Tom Stuckey, a former President of the Methodist Church.
Crash, Bang, Wallop
They were the witnesses to his resurrection. They had seen him taken up into heaven,
They were told to wait - and so they did.
They met together, they prayed. They encouraged each other,
All the time wondering what would happen on the Day of Pentecost.
Then one day as they waited, Crash Bang Wallop.
Wind and fire came upon them.
They could suddenly speak other languages, they found themselves emboldened and empowered to meet the tasks before them.
The rest, as they say, is history. Or is it?
I have read accounts of similar events.
I have witnessed the ecstasy, heard the speaking in tongues, and seen brother Christians slain in the spirit. I have heard of more recent miracles - accepting them, and giving the Lord the glory.
But why, O Lord, why not me? Why not us?
Why not signs and wonders in my beloved village chapel?
Do we not pray enough?
Have we not been faithful and loving?
And so the doubts and the discouragement set in.
I struggle with unanswered prayer.
I ask “where is your visible and powerful presence amongst us?” and get no response.
Then, I look out of my window and see my garden springing to life.
I look across the meadow to see the unhurried grazing of “Merlin” my neighbour’s horse.
And I look to the night sky and see the Milky Way and mighty Jupiter, so near as to almost touch my outstretched hand.
My scientific training kicks in.
I remember the other great Crash, Bang, Wallop of the Big Bang.
How everything must be just right for a stable universe to form, just right for life to form within it.
I wonder at humankind’s
That we can see, think about and appreciate these great mighty wonders.
With all this before me, how can I doubt and become discouraged?
I long and pray for the signs and wonders of Pentecost to be repeated in my little chapel and throughout the world.
But I also recall that he deals with us according to his sovereign will, and in his own time.
My prime task is to discern that will, and to co-operate with it.
These thoughts settle my soul and I am driven to prayer and joyful obedience.
May His will be done and I play my part in it.
I am uplifted to praise and I find peace.