"We are bringing you Good News, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. In the past He let all nations go their own way. Yet, God has not left himself without testimony: God has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; God provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." -Acts 14:15b-17
This month of May we celebrate Mother's Day and graduation day, the beginning of summer and Pentecost.
I am wondering about us, though. I mean, Easter happened and the excitement is waning a bit, right, even though it is still that season? The world is turning back to other concerns. Summer is approaching and some of us might be planning the trips or activities that we enjoy so much. Others are busy planning parties or getting summer jobs. We think of accomplishments and next steps with graduates. Some of us think of our mothers and all they do for us. Others think in sorrow about how they would have liked to be mothers, or on mothers who have passed.
Some clean house in May, rearrange the furniture, open up the windows, and give it a good spring cleaning. And of course, some of us are busy with fieldwork, planting or maintaining fields, raising livestock, or other farm activities. Many do that in gardens as well.
May is a busy time. May is a time for us. We are busy with our own concerns and plans. We might remember Jesus and the Resurrection, but not like on Easter day. We are concerned with our own ways and our everyday.
Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra preaching and healing, telling folks about Jesus. Some listened and had faith, but others went about their business. The apostles happened to heal a man and did that cause a stir. Then people took notice and folks thought that Paul and Barnabus were Zeus and Hermes, Greek gods. They turned from their concerns and tried to sacrifice to them, to get the "gods" to grant them favors as well.
They failed to see God in the everyday, so when they encountered God in a miraculous way they were unprepared and turned to superstition and rituals to control it, and maybe benefit. Paul spoke out using the words from Acts at the beginning of this article. He begged the folks to turn from these grand ways, to heed the testimony of God in the crops and seasons, the rain and the provisions in their everyday. And the people would have none of it--God couldn't be in my plans or in my everyday world. They turned on Paul and stoned him, nearly killing him. Their rituals did not work so their anger shone out.
Do you approach God the way the Lycaonians did in Lystra? Do you see God only as a source of benefit for you? Do you only pay attention to God when grand things happen? Did you pray about that vacation, about what God would do in it and ways you could serve Him in doing it? Do you plan to thank God publicly for the accomplishments leading to graduation and seek to follow what He has in store for you in the adult world, not just your own desires? Do you see God's hands in your crops and then tithe them to do good in the community or church? Do you clean your house with a prayer on your lips? Do you pray about the summer job, consider why you are working, and pray before starting your day? Do you turn to God or to worthless things? Do you trust your own control or do you know God is in control? As we celebrate this month, remember Jesus. As we get busy, remember to listen for the quiet voice of the Spirit. Know that we come with Good News in God's testimony, both in everyday ways and in miraculous ones, and turn to God first.
BY REV. TIM HARMON
LAKE PARK FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHRUCH