An Abundant Ministry: Part 2 – A Need Arises

An Abundant Ministry: Part 2 – A Need Arises

“Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, ‘Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.’”-Luke 9:12

 Early this year, the Session at Christ Presbyterian Church announced the creation of a Building Fund for the purpose of adding on to our existing facilities. Last week, I began writing a series of articles to explain the rationale behind our need for expansion. We began this series looking at CPC’s situation through the lens of Jesus’s Feeding of the 5000 – and we’ll continue looking at it through that lens today.

Last week we saw crowds gather as Jesus’s ministry grew. We compared that growth in Jesus’s day to the growth CPC is experiencing today. Let’s pick up where we left off.

As Jesus teaches the people and cures their diseases, the day “begins to wear away.” As it does, the disciples sense a growing need. The people need to eat and they need to find lodging in which to rest. But the disciples don’t believe they can fill that need. They inform Jesus – as if he didn’t already know – that they are in a “desolate place.” In other words, there is no food or lodging available for the people where they are – and they don’t see a way of procuring any. So the disciples come up with the only solution they can think of: “send the crowd away.”

Similarly, as a crowd has gathered here at CPC to experience the ministry of the Lord Jesus, a need has arisen. The immediate needs of the crowd in Jesus’s day were for food and shelter. The immediate need of the crowd at CPC is a place for our children to be raised in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Like the disciples in Jesus’s day, we may be tempted to look around at our apparent lack of resources – space, money, time, etc. – and despair of ever being able to fill the needs of those who we hope to minister to. We may even go as far as the disciples and ask Jesus to “send them away” to another church we believe to be better positioned for ministry than we are.

The disciples in Jesus’s day were not wrong. They were in a desolate place. There weren’t any resources available for ministry – at least not that they could see. They evaluated their ability to minister – and they found themselves wanting.

But the disciples would soon discover that there were far more resources available for ministry than they thought. That’s where we’ll pick up next week.

For now, would you join me in rejoicing that Jesus knows exactly where we are? He is just as aware of our need as he was aware of the need of the crowd so long ago. And would you join me in praying for our volunteers who are seeking to minister as best they can with the limited resources – space, time, and money – at their disposal? Pray especially for our nursery workers, children’s ministry volunteers, and youth leaders.

Your Pastor and Friend,
John Knox Foster

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