Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lord, The One You Love Is Sick

Today's blog is for Ruth and especially for Pastor Franks. They are such dear people to me, and Pastor especially needs our prayers.

Lord, the one you love is sick.

Last night, fending off a migraine, I decided to look around at some of the more popular online churches today.  The ones with pastors who are well-known authors, the ones where I am more familiar with the titles of their books than I am the content of their preaching. I came across a Facebook post that asked for suggestions for online services, and found out that Max Lucado isn't just the author I thought he was, but he is the minister of a busy church a few hours south of here.

Until then, I'd thought he was kind of a mystical author, more "feel good" than biblical. I hadn't read his books, and had only seen a few quotes, but I'm generally leery of authors I first hear of from Oprah or other sources.

There are no accidents, remember?  I turned to the website for Oak Hills Church. Their service was over, but they had archived sermons. "Have You Prayed About It?" immediately popped out at me, and I turned on the first installment of the series.

One of the first things he talked about was the story of Lazarus. How Mary and Martha needed to care for him, but they sent "someone" to find Jesus and ask for healing.

That someone spoke to Jesus and said, "Lord, the one you love is sick."

That someone prayed on Lazarus' behalf.  "The healing began when the prayer was offered," said Pastor Lucado.  When we pray, Heaven acts.

Are you someone?  Am I?

Of course I am.

So tonight I am praying for Pastor Franks.  I am so thankful for these thoughts from Pastor Lucado, and for a way of looking at the simplest words in this familiar story--  I am someone. I am praying.

You see, when I began this journey, it was the first time I had met Pastor Franks and it was his birthday party. He and the church family had invited me to stay, and I found myself telling Pastor Franks about this project of mine. I told him about my search for a church home.

He said the words that I have tried to hold to the entire time-- "Don't let them lead you astray."  He knew some of the churches would hold sermons about falsehoods instead of Biblical truths. He knew some of the ministers would be tempted by the respect their congregations have for them, and give in to that temptation to ask the congregants to do something that was not biblically based, such as voting a certain way.  He knew, and he warned me.

Pastor Franks' church family has embraced me as part of their family, though I don't (yet) attend their church. They see me as "someone".

And, Lord, the one you love is ill.

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