Gods Greater Plan

0
23

Contributing Writer
Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church Amherst, NY

When I was a child I walked to school. During warm days I always walked on the edge of the sidewalk just in case there was a dandelion puff nearby. I was a firm believer that blowing away the seeds granted me a wish. On summer nights I was always on the lookout for that first star armed with a wish. I brought my pennies to the mall for the fountain, fought for the wishbone on Thanksgiving, and planned all year for that moment I got to blow out candles on my birthday. I was a child who knew how to wish.

Unfortunately, my wishes never came true. I never got a Power Wheel. Amanda B. never gave me the time of day. The Bills never won a Super Bowl. (The list continues.)

In scripture there is a passage where the Israelites complain because they keep asking God to answer their prayers, but he doesn’t. They say, “Why do we fast, but you don’t see? Why do we humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” They can’t figure out why God isn’t making their wishes come true even though they are doing everything right. Like a child who goes through the motions (kicking dandelion puffs and wishing on stars), they think that following protocol – going hungry for a bit – grants them a wish from God.

God says to them, “You fast only to serve your own interests. You fast, but then you quarrel and fight. That is not the fasting I want.” God continues, “If you want to fast… fast from injustice. And that food you aren’t eating… give it to the hungry.” God invites the Israelites to stop treating him like a vending machine and start participating in his mission and ministry. It is then, God says, “Light will break forth. Healing will spring up. Prayers will be answered. What is shattered will be rebuilt. What is broken will be restored.” (READ Isaiah 58:1-12)

So often our faith is a matter of convenience. We walk on the edge of the sidewalk just in case we see a dandelion puff so we can make a wish. God wants more. God wants us to participate in his mission and ministry and to let our prayers serve more than personal interest and gain.

We are invited to take a break from selfish wishing (no more prayers for the Buffalo Bills—God doesn’t care), so we can engage in God’s bigger plan. We are called to fast from quarreling and fighting, so we can start building one another up. And we are called through God’s unending and amazing grace to boldly live into the future God has in store for us… a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11).

For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

Previous articleOktoberFest and Fall Movies at Reg Lenna Center for The Arts
Next articleHome Improvements that Increase Home Value
Pastor Scott Hannon
Pastor Scott serves the people of St. John by helping the congregation welcome everyone, care for one another, and grow in the joy of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Pastor Scott earned his bachelor’s degree at the University at Buffalo and went to seminary at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in preaching from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Pastor Scott and his wife, Kate, live in Bowmansville, NY with their children Molly, Delaney, and John Scott. Scott and Kate love Western New York for many reasons, not the least of which are the changing seasons, wonderful people, and of course the Buffalo Bills. Pastor Scott’s ministry priorities are worship, preaching and teaching. Scott’s hobbies are guitar, golf, and reading. To read some of Scott’s musings visit his blog Way-ward at www.psdh.org.