There is a word from Scripture that I think provides an adequate preface to this wonderful gathering in time of sharing and hard work, but first, it goes along with the illustration that I think many people have heard that is apt and also goes this morning.
There was a young man who was trying to get a job as a signalman at an old railroad, and as he had finally went through a whole process, his final, final, final task was to pass with the inspector. He went up to the signal box, and the inspector was there with his arms folded, with a look that said he did not want this young man to get the job.
He began to ask the young man questions. He said, What would you do if you saw that there were two trains that were running on the same track about to crash into each other?
He said, I would use the lever and change one train to the other track.
He said, What if you found that the lever was broken?
He said, I would run down and use the manual lever.
He said, What if lightning had struck and that lever was also broken?
He said, I'd come back to the signal box and I'd call the other signal box by way of phone.
He said, What if the phone was busy and you couldn't get through?
He said, I would use my cell phone.
He said, What if your cell phone couldn't reach the signal box?
He said, Then I'd get my Uncle Leo.
He said, Why would you get your Uncle Leo?
He says, Because Uncle Leo has never seen a train crash before.
Some people believe that there are situations where there's no way out, where there are things that are going to happen and we can't do anything about it. But this morning there is a voice that comes to us from Scripture that says there is no temptation taken you, no situation, no challenge that has taken but is common to man, which means everybody is going through something, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able, meaning he won't put more on you than you can handle, but with the temptation, make a way of escape that you'll be able to bear it. That means with every challenge, there still is a real solution.
Let's bow and look to the Lord.
Dearest God, we thank you again for life. We thank you again for health. We thank you again that you are here with us, that in every situation, wherever two or three have gathered, you promised to be right there through your son.
So, Lord, may we come to know the grace which is always sufficient. May we come to know your strength which is made perfect in our weakness. May we come to know that you are always God by yourself, and one plus God is always a majority.
We thank you again for this time, for it's in your son's name we pray. Let everyone say amen.