Friday, January 13, 2012
There was nothing particularly eye catching about the church message board. It stood out there next to the road like most of them do. There was a place for the name of the church and more space for a message board. The truth is most church signs are poorly used. They are either filled with an announcement of a scheduled meeting which may be of interest to the congregation, but not really of much use to the world passing by. Or, they utilize some tricky sounding words that stay out there so long the passersbys cease looking because they have already read the words a hundred times. No need to look that way again as the sign is the same as last week and the week before.
This particular sign, seen on a recent trip; however, was different. By itself the message was rather commonplace and mundane. It is one seen on a hundred other signs on any given day. But, still it was different. What made it different was the context. What made it so powerful was what was behind it. What was behind it was nothing, but a cleared field. What used to be there behind the sign was a building everyone identified as the Calvary United Methodist Church. A midnight arsonist changed all that a few months ago. Everything is gone on the property now except for this sign which says to its community, "Give thanks for all your blessings."
In one of the earliest stories in Scripture we learn that God uses for good what someone else intended for evil. First told in Genesis as a a part of the Joseph story, it is a story that has been retold more times than can ever be known. The church sign appears to say that the folks at the Calvary Church have embraced this truth. The building may be gone, but the community of believers is still speaking a powerful word every day to those who pass by and see the emptiness of the property. What someone intended for evil, God is no doubt using for good. It is good to know God is still doing what He did long ago with Joseph. He is doing it for the folks at the Calvary Church in Swainsboro and He is doing it for you and me as well.