Read: Joshua 4.8-13 (NRSV)
Working in large numbers is one of the strengths of the United Methodist Church. The tradition of financial resources known as apportionments as a witness of what large-scale ministries reach around the world when we share our part as a world-wide congregation. The question comes in our faithfulness to use the resources entrusted to us in the ways that glorify God and fulfill Christ’s mission over our own mission. The church is criticized for being a large business corporation when we look at the millions and billions done around the world. We make a powerful impact when we share the work. The story of the child that shares their lunch and Jesus multiplies the food to feed the multitude is a witness of God expanding what we offer.
Individually we do more when we work together. Millions might not be our pool of resources, but our witness and service become exponential when we multiply the number of people sharing the love of Christ in ministries together. In our text from Joshua, forty thousand of God’s people march on Jericho and walls came tumbling down. In our spiritual journey, we do not have to travel alone. Together Christ is with us, therefore who can stand against us? Before trying to get forty thousand troops moved across a river, Joshua sends in the priests with the Ark of the Covenant, and they gather twelve stones. As the waters were again pushed back for Israel to enter the Promised Land, one stone is taken out of the bottom of the river for each of the tribes to remember God’s mighty power and guidance. The stones were used together as an altar, as a remembrance of what happened on the day that forty thousand people trusted God, followed the ark, and entered into a land of grace and blessing. How we use our money, time, and the spiritual journey can impact one or millions. It depends on how much we trust God to multiply what we offer.
Action Plan: Think of one thing at your church that you can get behind and trust God to use you in ministry. Signup, volunteer, get busy! Take a small stone and make it a prayer rock. Keep it in your pocket, purse, or backpack and let it serve as a reminder of God’s counting on you, and then have it ready to share with someone else and pray it forward.
Prayer: Lord, change my stone-cold heart, into one that is ready to follow you into battle or my daily life. Amen.