Press on Towards the Goal – August 31st, 2018

I remember when I was a kid in elementary school we would have these fundraisers where if we were to sell a certain number of magazines, candy, or other products we would be eligible to win prizes like a Sony Walkman, Nintendo Gameboy, or some other hot item of the day. I would go home with the flier dreaming about all the cool stuff I would get, but pretty soon reality would set in and I would realize that those hot items, while rather enticing, were often difficult to achieve. In the end I would settle for a light up yo-yo that would break within a couple of minutes of use. Probably wasn’t the best message to communicate to a generation about setting goals. Hanging a juicy carrot in front of us that we would never get to and making easier for us to settle on something less appealing.

As I have been preparing for ordination interviews in a few months I have been concentrating on one particular question that I will be asked, “Are you going on to perfection?” Wow! How big of a question is that? The questioning however doesn’t stop there the next is, “Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life” and then followed with, “Are you earnestly striving for it?” Nevertheless, I still must ask myself how I will respond to such a big question. Am I going on to perfection?

It is my belief that the question is being asked to adjust my aim. C.S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity, puts the quest of perfection like this:

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”

Where is your aim? When I was a kid my aim would be for the Sony Walkman or Gameboy, but would soon change to whatever prize was easier. What if I had never changed my aim? Would I have ever brought home the prize I originally sought? This is the question I ask my self. Am I working to keep my aim set on Christian perfection or am I willing to settle for whatever comes easiest? Remember we have been called towards a goal, which the Apostle Paul reminds us of in Philippians 3:14:

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

This past Sunday we asked the members of Cornerstone UMC to share goals that they would like us to meet in 2022 when we celebrate 20 years as a church. The goals that I have read through excite me for the future of the church and I feel as though they are very achievable, especially if we keep our aim focused. Join us this Sunday at 10:30 AM as we close our Manna series and recognize that we set our goal heavenward so that we may be for the world the body of Christ (the bread of life, manna).

In God’s grip,

Pastor Chuck Church