A cross made from prayer rocks sits triumphantly on the concrete on the new covered pavilion that is part of a new expanded facility. The tradition of using rocks to build an altar to mark the places where God leads his people goes back to the time of Abraham.
From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD. (Genesis 13:3-4)
The followers of Jesus known as Asbury UMC did something similar on Sunday. We looked at a new building that God had allowed us to build by giving us the resources to make it happen, and we laid down our “prayer rocks” as an altar. We marked the spot where God has led His people. We marked the spot where God called us into His vision.
The building was well received – bold colors of the youth room left little doubt about its purpose. But once again we were reminded that the building was not the vision. Gathered in the room for a “look-and-see” reception were dozens upon dozens of people – that’s the vision. “Serving God’s Purpose Together” – that’s the vision. The building makes that possible. Where God has called us to reach the families with youth and children who live all around us, God has given us the resources to serve that purpose. Yes, we have a bigger facility with more space dedicated to youth, but more so we have people dedicated to God’s vision.
The one thing that made me smile the most was when I walked up on a conversation between our United Methodist Men’s president and our Youth ministries director. The UM Men President was asking, “how else can we help make your ministry stronger?” Well, he did not use those words, he was asking about help needed to purchase items the youth could use in that room – but my ears heard “how can we help?”
Holy high five to you, Mike