Pledge Sunday is May 7

Your gifts to the West or Minneapolis Campus projects or both projects are appreciated. Pledge packets have been mailed to all Mount Olivet households. If you have questions or did not receive a packet, please contact Mari Carlson mcarlson@mtolivethomes.org 612.821.3150.

 

West Campus Addition

Goal: $14 million

Amount Raised: $8.5 million
(includes gifts from 2014 campaign and other gifts)

Amount needed: $5.5 million

Minneapolis Campus
East Addition

Goal: $7.3 Million

Amount Raised: $6.4 million
(includes gifts from 2014 campaign and other gifts)

Amount Needed: $900,000

 

Signs - A Call to Action

Across Lent and Easter, we heard a number of stories from the Gospel According to John. Interestingly, in that gospel, Jesus’ miracles aren’t called miracles; they’re called signs.

I know that seems like a minor detail, but it’s a pretty important one. According to John, when Jesus turned water into wine, healed a blind man, or raised Lazarus from the dead, what mattered was not so much what happened, but what was communicated and revealed by what happened. Each sign communicates something vitally important about who Jesus is.

There are two important things to keep in mind about signs. First, they’re often somewhat ambiguous and so they have to be interpreted. Some people see in signs the presence of God, while others see only a coincidence, stroke of luck, or freak act of nature. How you interpret a sign therefore makes all the difference. For instance, the steward at the wedding of Cana (ch. 2) doesn’t realize the “best wine” is a sign of God’s abundance, and so just feels lucky, while the royal official whose son was healed (ch. 4) sees this as a sign of God’s favor and so feels blessed.

The second thing about signs is that they offer an invitation to step into the presence of God, participate in the miracle, and then share it with others. Once Jesus has miraculously summoned Lazarus from the tomb, for instance, he turns to the crowd and says simply and clearly, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Rather than linger in the limelight of his miracle, Jesus invites those around to get involved.

This is always true of God’s miraculous signs – first they demand to be interpreted, and then they offer an invitation to step into the presence of God, participate in the miracle, and then share it with others.

All of which prompts me to ask: what do you think about what’s going on here at Mount Olivet? We’ve seen extraordinary growth in worship attendance and youth groups at the West Campus in Victoria, and the choirs, education, and worship at the Minneapolis Campus are growing in new and significant ways as well. All this growth when so many congregations are struggling is, quite simply, miraculous.

But it’s also a sign. And so, like all signs, it needs to be interpreted. So is the growth of vibrant faith and fellowship of our congregation just luck? Is it just helpful demographics? Or is it a sign that God’s love and life and hope continue to be a blessing to a world that seems too often mired in division and despair? What do you think? What do you make of this sign?

Remember, once signs have been interpreted, they also offer an invitation. Jesus’ invitation to the crowd around Lazarus was, “Unbind him and let him go.” Jesus’ invitation to us is not all that different. We are in the closing stage of a significant capital campaign that will provide deeply needed space at the West Campus and strengthen our exceptional programs in music and education in Minneapolis. All of this will help us unbind the good news and set loose the faith and love of this community into the world. If we see this growth as a sign of God’s love, we – each of us – will be invited to participate, to enter into God’s miracle as it unfolds before us, and to share it with those around us.

And each time we do, we’ll be blessed again. God’s signs, God’s miracles, are like that. They draw you in, change your life, and send you forth ready to share them with all you meet. Thanks be to God.


– Senior Pastor-Elect David Lose