Weekly Devotional 070124

And Then There Were None

by Jim Rower

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” –2 Timothy 1:10

And then there were none. This phrase popped into my head as I was vacuuming the now-empty PLC Sanctuary. I was alone in a vacant space with the drone of the vacuum in my head. And then there was one….

Over the last two days, a few dozen volunteers from PLC and North Calvary Church in Fresno had been working to uninstall, disassemble, pack up, and load all the pews from our Sanctuary to be refurbished and installed at North Calvary. The last pew had been hauled out, the team from North Calvary were outside packing the truck and loading up their gear, and the vacant sanctuary seemed very odd to me without the rows of pews.

When I first thought, “And then there were none,” I was thinking about all the pews being gone. Then it occurred to me that this phrase usually is used to speak of people, not things. There were no people in the Sanctuary either, save me.

It seems that’s the way it’s becoming in more and more churches across the U.S., Britain, and other “Christian” countries, as more people are turning away from God. Pew Research studies in America showed a drop in the percentage of adults who identified as Christian from 77% in 2009 to 65% in 2018/2019. I wondered if PLC would go that direction.

With the start of demolition for the first phase of our Rooted building project, we are turning the page to a new chapter in PLC’s history. I pondered what that new chapter might hold for us. I thought, “We (the congregation) will decide how that chapter is written. We will…whether PLC grows or shrinks, lives or dies.” Then it struck me that “we” won’t decide, at least not entirely. God will decide.

God has a plan for PLC and He can accomplish that plan with or without us. Each of us has the choice to be part of His plan or not: to be a blessing to others wherever we are called to serve and, hence, to writing into the story and receive blessing in return, or, to sit on the sidelines and watch the story go by. In the end, God may decide to let our decisions dictate the outcome of the chapter.

I am excited to see what the future holds for PLC. I am excited to see the new/remodeled Sanctuary, kitchen, fellowship spaces, and office/meeting spaces. But more than that, I am excited to see how God will use each of us in these facilities to bring His Word to others that they may believe, and that we all may grow in our faith. I am hopeful the answer will be, “And then they were overrun…”

Lord God, I pray for the future of Peñasquitos Lutheran Church as a people. I ask that You would pour your Spirit upon all of us, take us and use us to accomplish Your plans for our congregation. I pray that we will be a lighthouse in the community, shining Your light so that others will find their way to You. And I pray that we will be a spiritual kitchen, feeding the souls and strengthening the faith of all who enter our doors. Amen.

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