Ezekiel 7:26 Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will try to get a vision from the prophet; the teaching of the law by the priest will be lost, as will the counsel of the elders.
I cannot think of a more terrifying situation for a community of faith to be in. Ezekiel’s ranting about the loss of vision, teaching, and counsel reflects a time when the people of God were in absolute disarray. Their land was about to be overtaken and their people enslaved yet again. The political leaders could not parley with their enemies. God seemed to be absent from the whole situation and the religious leaders had no message of hope to give to the people.
As you know, faithful readers, I worry a lot about the National Church. I’m concerned about the lack of vision and leadership, sound teaching and spiritual counsel. We seem to be heading down into a dead end and even although we can see it, we don’t want to accept it. It’s as if we’re in some sort of huge spiritual denial and we don’t have the savvy to turn around and head back in God’s direction.
Recently, I’ve also been thinking about the wee church that I serve. It’s constantly growing, full of new ideas and people. We’ve been through some setbacks, but God always seem to lead us to something better and bigger. I just wish that our National Church would do the same. If a wee church like Erin can keep growing, there must be something that we’re doing that is right in God’s eyes compared to what’s happening nationally.
That’s why we’re entering into a new phase at Erin. We want to keep growing spiritually and numerically. We want to influence our community and make an impact for God’s Kingdom. We want to continue putting Christ at the center of who we are, what we do, and how we practice our faith. It’s not that we’re perfect, holy, or far superior than those around us – far from it. We’re just trying to please Jesus and help others experience that self-same joy of serving the Lord.
So this morning, we pray for a prophetic voice and vision to be heard and seen in our national Church. We pray for sound spiritual teaching to be placed before the people. And we ask that the counsel of all the elders across the church will emerge from being focused and centered on Christ. Otherwise the terrifying prophecy of Ezekiel could be our National Church’s ultimate destiny.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the blessings that You have given to our wee church. Thank You for the vision of things to come, the teaching of the truth, and the wise counsel of our elders. Help other wee churches in other places begin to experience the same, so that Your Name may be truly honored and glorified, praised and adored. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.