During a recent gathering of young adults in our Sanctuary building, a few folks noticed what looked like some black mold on a small part of one outer wall. That was enough to get me concerned. We needed to get it looked at for everyone’s health and safety. Working with our Facilities & Maintenance Commission, we contracted with a regional state-certified abatement company to come in and remediate any mold or other toxic substances that might be present. They did, in fact, detect a bit of mold as well as some asbestos in the old “popcorn” ceiling. As part of their strategy to remediate the situation, they had to tear out some parts of walls to inspect what lay behind the surface materials.
After they completed their work and state inspectors signed off on the project as safe, I walked down into the basement and noticed something quite intriguing. In one of the exposed corners I saw a sizable chunk of chiseled granite sitting on top of the original concrete basement foundation.
It seemed out of place to everything else I saw in the original construction technique of poured concrete. Showing it to others, we surmised that it must be the backside of the original cornerstone laid over 100 years ago! It was so cool to think back and imagine that moment in history when a group of faithful Christ-followers gathered on that site to lay the cornerstone as they embarked on a grand adventure of establishing a new church in Merced to the glory of God.
I was touched by that encounter because it reminded me that we are all stewards of an incredible history of faithfulness. There has been so much that has come before us – so many men and women who served, sacrificed, and stewarded what the Lord had placed in their hands. And WE are all the beneficiaries of their and the Lord’s faithfulness.
God has placed you and me here at CPC in the heart of Merced for such a time as this! Esther caught that vision when her Cousin Mordecai challenged her with those very words to exhort her to step into the breach on behalf of her fellow Israelites and plead to the king for their safety. Mordecai and Esther realized that they were stewards of a significant moment in history. God had put them there – in that place at that precise time – because He had a plan to use them for His Kingdom purposes.
In fact, you see Him doing that over and over again throughout Scripture – think Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Solomon, Paul – to name just a few. He raises up particular women and men for specific seasons and purposes that will advance what He’s wanting to do in the world.
My friends, I believe that He’s placed us – each one of us – in the CPC family in the heart of our city so that we might embody His heart FOR our city. He has called us together to shine the light of His love brightly for Him to our friends and neighbors. We are stewards of this moment! The future of what the Lord seeks to do through Central Presbyterian Church is in our hands. Ultimately, of course, He is sovereign and will accomplish His plans regardless. But…He has entrusted us as stewards with the resources, the heart, and the vision to nurture a vibrant ministry presence in the city that will flourish for generations to come.
Will you join me as a fellow steward in giving yourself – your heart, your prayers, your faithful service, your financial resources, indeed your whole self – to be a good and faithful steward of this moment as we look to the future? I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to use this generation for His glorious purposes in our city!
For Christ and His Kingdom,