Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, June, 2012

posted Jun 1, 2012, 3:05 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jun 1, 2012, 3:05 PM ]
Jesus’ Visit to Leola

As we observed another Ascension Day season recently, my thoughts turned to the coming and going of Jesus to this world, and what it would/will be like in his return again in the unforeseeable future. The disciples said to him just before his departure recorded in Acts 1:6ff. (HEB) “Lord, is this the time at which you are to restore sovereignty to Israel?’ He (Jesus) answered, ‘It is not for you to know about dates or times which the Father has set within his own control?”

Knowledge about “Judgment Day” or the time of Jesus’ return to earth is strictly limited to God’s purview alone, but let’s just imagine what it would be like if Jesus were to drop by to pay a visit to Leola, PA in 2012; how would he arrive, where would he come/stay; whom would he visit; what would he say and how would he be received? While this is a hypothetical question to be sure, at least in some ways we might say that he is already here with us. After all we love to sing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” As the last stanza of this familiar hymn suggests, “in his arms he’ll take and heal thee; thou wilt find a solace there.”

Even though those words were written around 1855 in the mid -19th century, they still ring true to our experience today. We find it nice to hear comforting words and commendations, but Jesus could on occasion be confrontational as well.

If Jesus were to pay a visit to the USA or to Leola UMC, I wonder in what we might be commended or, on the other hand, challenged, criticized or chastised. What would happen if Jesus were to walk into a gathering of the Leola United Methodist Church Council some evening or perhaps make an appearance at the Supreme Court in Washington D. C. Have you ever considered that?

In the student book for Adam Hamilton’s group study material on “Seeing Gray in a Black and White World,” the last chapter addresses the issue of “What would Jesus have to say to America?” To begin the discussion he introduces three prevalent Hebrew words in the Old Testament that define the character and nature of God and God’s expectations for the leaders and people of Israel.

These three words occur in Jeremiah 9:24 as follows: “Let the one who
boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises (Hesed) kindness-mercy, (Mishpat) justice and (Tzedakah) righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

Consider what it would be like if the nations throughout our world and if the United States of America in particular would exercise these principles of mercy, justice and righteousness on earth. I can't help but think that the Lord would delight in that and society would be much better off than now.

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries