Jonathan's Perspective  

Oct 26

No Time for Timidity!

No Time for Timidity!

When Elijah was about to be taken into heaven on a chariot of fire, he asked his apprentice, Elisha, what he could do for him before he departed.  What would you have asked of the prophet?  His blessing?  A letter of recommendation?  Elisha wasted no time in boldly requesting, “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.”(2 Kings 2:9)  What chutzpah!  Elisha knew that the work ahead of him was going to require everything the young prophet could muster. Are we that bold in asking for God’s power in our lives, or do we resign ourselves to a tough slough through a difficult life?

                I was blessed to have a wonderful Christian father who set an example and mentored me in the faith.  I remember saying to a friend in my early adulthood that, “I wish I was half the man my father was.”  But why would I want only half the character, half the commitment, half the impact, or half the joy?  Why would anyone settle for half?  What if we as the church were only ‘half the church’ from the last generation.  In four generations we would be 6% of the former church’s power and potential!  When we consider the exponential decrease, is that where we really want to go as individuals or as a church? 

What if we were bold like Elisha and asked for a double portion?  What if each generation gave thanks for those who went before, but said, ‘God, do even greater things through us’?  We wouldn’t be a 6% church in four generations, we would be a 1,600% church!  Why be half when Jesus is calling us to be so much more?!

Susie May Munholland was an amazing person.  She is our modern day Elijah.  She grew up in Rayne Memorial UMC and served through her teen years and early adulthood at the Mary Werlein Mission in the very poor Irish Channel.  She helped with sewing classes, home making courses, feeding programs, children’s activities, Sunday School and worship at the mission.  Later, she ministered alongside her husband who was a pastor in the Methodist Church.  She even served  in Lake Charles during the Yellow Fever Plague of 1898.  After her husband died, she returned to Metairie where she took care of her sister in a house on Elmeer Rd.  Since there wasn’t a Methodist Church in her area, she began to work with a pastor and District Superintendent to help launch a Metairie Methodist Church in 1936.  While she was not wealthy, she gladly gave 1/3 the money needed to purchase the property upon which our church now stands.   The church grew through the years due to many people like Susie May who loved God and committed themselves to blessing people through their church.

Many people might look back and say, ‘Ah, those were the golden years.’  But those ‘golden years’ didn’t just happen.  They came with love, commitment, courage, setbacks, sacrifice, and generosity.  Metairie is every bit in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and this United Methodist congregation as during the time of Susie May.  My prayer is that God will give us a double portion of Susie May’s spirit to make a great impact on this community.  This is no time for timidity, my friends.

 

Blessed to be a blessing,

Jonathan

 

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