Opportunity of a Lifetime

Study history. There were eras when nothing notable is recorded. There were other eras when events changed the course of history, e.g. Noah and the flood, Israel’s conquering Canaan, Jesus born in Bethlehem and crucified in Jerusalem, Fall of Jerusalem 70 AD, Columbus’ discovery of the New World 1492 AD. Your imagination can add other dates.

I am convinced that our congregation is at a moment of grand opportunity to have a dynamic impact upon our own family, our community and missions around the world that will make a difference for eternity.

The question is whether we will seize the moment and invest, bringing fulfillment of the mission we believe God has ordained. Perhaps a look at history will be helpful.

Mt. Vesuvius hosted a volcano that had erupted many times with great damage. But it had been quiet for hundreds of years and the climate made the seaport a favorite of the richest people of the times.

By 70 A.D. thousands of people lived in Pompeii nestled at the foot of the volcanic mountain. A terrible earthquake shook the mountain in the early 70's. But people ignored the warning and kept moving to the city. By 79 AD about 20,000 people lived in luxurious accommodations where art, entertainment and fun living were celebrated, including lascivious and sensuous moral depravity.

On August 24 the Year of 79 A.D. about 8 AM Mt. Vesuvius began erupting and spewing ash. Everyone could have escaped. However, by the next day the volcano had killed about 2,000 people and the entire city was covered until it was lost to history for more than 1500 years. The volcano erupted with force 100,000 times greater than the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In 1748 an engineer discovered the remains of the City of Pompeii and excavations have continued to the present. Discoveries tell stories, one of which is good to ponder.

The remains of a woman were found with her skeleton folded in almost a fetal position. A jar with money suggested the woman had been carrying it. The bones of the woman were studied and scientists concluded she must have been a servant because of the poor quality of her skeletal structure.

Thus, the explanation arose: She had been with her mistress who was fleeing with the money. However, the jar was too heavy. The mistress threw the jar away to escape the wrath of the volcano. The servant woman greedily took the jar of money but was slowed down by its weight until she fell victim to the falling ash and debris.

Greed is when we clutch to ourselves possessions of this world and think that we deserve. In our deserving we push God away to increase our pleasure and comfort as if our heaven is here.

Wise are those who see possibilities when God is moving and there is an opportunity to participate in grand ventures for the Kingdom. Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem rebuilt the walls and gates in 52 days! What had not been done in a hundred years was completed in 52 days when the people were united in mind and purpose!

This is our moment. Victory together will be celebrated together. Victory will be a testimony to our God, our community, our individual families and those who will follow after us. Special victories will be celebrated as lost souls join us in salvation! The devil will also take notice he lost, heaven won!

Carpe diem,

Pastor Bare Nehemiah in reference to enemies who opposed building the wall: "The God of heaven Himself will prosper us, therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem (2:20); "...so the wall was finished...in fifty-two days (6:15).