Sunday, January 20, 2019

Your Hour Has Come!

So much of our lives is about timing.
It is about being in the right place at the right time.
Who we fall in love with, what we do for work, where we work, where we live, what friends we have.
Of course there are choices within those circumstances, but we have to be in the right place at the right time.
Many times in my life things just seemed to come together.

I had not worked at Camp Calumet for a couple of years.
I actually thought that part of my life was over.
However, in the summer of 1998 I found myself living in Freedom with my parents.
I didn't have a job.
And I always wanted to be the CIT trainer.
I had applied to be the CIT trainer for the summer of 1994.
I had been offered the job of program director instead.
I hated that job, and really wanted to be the CIT trainer.
My life was a little adrift at this point.
I wasn't sure what I was going to do.
Anyway, I was at the right place and right time to be the CIT trainer.
It was during that summer that I Vicki and I started dating.
It was during that summer that I put myself on the path to going to seminary and becoming a pastor.

Jesus this morning isn't sure if this is the right time for him.
He is at a wedding, and has an opportunity to show who he is, but isn't sure if this is moment.
Luckily his mom is there to push him along.
This is his hour.
It is the right time and place for him.
He just doesn't know it for sure.

In our lives this is so important to be able to discern when it is our hour.
When it is our time to act, to make a move.
And this morning I want us to think about what makes it the right time.
What makes it our hour?

First off, we have to have other people in our lives who help us discern these things.
We need people who know us so well.
Who know our gifts and passions, who know what we are capable of to push us, otherwise we might not to do it.
We might not think that we have what it takes.
We might not see the opportunity in front of us.
I think we do ourselves a disservice when we don't use the people in our lives around us to help us know if this is our hour.

Second, we have to know ourselves.
We have to know our own skills.
Our own wants and desires.
Our own passions.
We have to know what we are good at, and practiced those things.
We don't know much about Jesus between when he is born, and when he is 30 years old.
But here is what we have to assume.
Jesus was taught things.
Jesus learned the word of God.
Jesus learned what it was God wanted from him.
Jesus learned what it meant to follow God.
Jesus learned what he was capable of.
By the time Jesus shows up to the wedding at Cana, he knows his mission, he knows it will not end well.
Because in John Jesus hour is when he is lifted on the cross.
"My hour has come"
Jesus says later in John.
Even though he wasn't sure this was the hour, Jesus knew what he could and couldn't do.
Jesus knew that he could do this sign.

Third, we have to trust in God.
This is important.
Every time we make a decision about something we have to trust that God is with us.
We have to believe that God will walk with us.
Because if this is our hour, then it is something that God has put in our path.
I believe that God put me in that place in the summer of 1998.
I believe that was where I was supposed to be at that time.
It wasn't exactly what I would have chosen for myself.
I mean I had wished at the time that I would have been more accomplished, I wish my life would have had more direction and certainty.
I wish that out of college I would have known exactly what I wanted to do and would have had a great job doing that thing.
But this is the way my life had gone, and this is where God wanted me to be.
I don't know if I thought this at the time, but in hindsight it worked out.
And I did trust God was in the midst of all of those really complicated life decisions.

I could repeat this story more times in my life.
I could tell you about how God lead me here to be your pastor.
What about you?
What is the story that you tell about how your hour had come?
When were you in the right place at the right time?
Who pushed you into seeing that it was your hour?
What skills did you learn to make it the right time?
How did God make the circumstances right?

This weekend we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King.
He was a man that was in the right place at the right time.
He was a pastor in Montgomery when the bus boycott started.
Yes he had been to college, and then to seminary.
He had been trained in leading the people of God.
And when the time came for him to act, he was ready.
But if you read about him you know that he wasn't sure.
He needed a push too.
He came to believe that this was the right time and place for our country to change the unjust laws of segregation.
In his famous "I have a dream" speech in front of the Lincoln memorial, he talked about this being the time.
He said, "We have also come to this hallowed spot  to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. 
This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
Now is the time  to make real the promises of democracy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time, to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children."
We too must know when the right time is to act, to speak up, to be bold.

For Jesus this moment, at the wedding in Galilee, was the right moment.
It was the right moment to start his public ministry.
It was the right moment to give others the first sign of what grace looks like.

I hope this morning for all of us in those times in of transition in our lives for the right place and the right time.
I hope that you have  people in your life to give you a push when you need it.
I hope you have people that you can turn to for advice.
I hope that you know yourself, know your gifts and passions.
I hope that you have spent time learning skills that will serve you well.
Most importantly I hope you know that God is with you.
The Holy Spirit is guiding you.
God is putting things in your life at the right time and place so you can know when your hour has come.

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