By Johnathon Goodenow
PEORIA – When Dr. Rose Booker-Jones speaks about the work of God doesn’t end, she is speaking from experience.
Booker-Jones, who underwent surgery and developed complications from a medical error, retired in December but is now doing chaplain work in Wichita, Kan.
At a service honoring retiring pastors, she reminded us of God’s amazing power in scripture and her own miraculous recovery, noting that God wants us to use this power to further His kingdom.
“Just as children take after their parents, we should take after God,” Booker-Jones said. In the same way that God used His power to create good things, she said that we are called to speak life into the world and create something do good in the world even when there doesn’t seem to be any around. God can use us to do good, and He has the power to make something out of nothing, so He will do miracles through his disciples.
“Every opportunity we have, we should speak with God’s authority. Not about our agenda, but we should proclaim Jesus Christ and speak life. That whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
That mission does not end with retirement, though.
“Jesus is still calling us,” she said. “He’s telling us that it’s not time to give up. It’s not time to sit back and watch TV.”
Booker-Jones implored that the retirees and all of us look at the world, noticing the injustices against our brothers and sisters, and use the power and the mission that God has given us to spread His love and improve the lives of those in need.
She referenced that even Paul wrote about his feelings of weakness when he thought about the mission God set before him, but the conclusion was made that God’s grace was sufficient and His power is made perfect not in spite of our weakness but because of it. If we had the power to do the works of God, we wouldn’t see God in our works.
Jones had been hospitalized for an extended period of time following complications on a surgery. When she finally awoke miraculously,
“Even my family was telling me it was time to rest,” She recalled. “But I kept hearing God say ‘Rose, get up! Swing that leg over the side of that bed. And I got up! Hallelujah!’”
She asks that we as Christians take the same approach to our many ministries:
“When the harvest doesn’t look good. when you wonder if anything matters, when your reputation is damaged, when waiting on God seems endless, don’t give up! God will renew your strength! God’s grace will renew you every time you need it… Though we may have signed on the dotted line and changed from active to retired clergy; there is no retirement with God. We are called to speak the word of God to its fullest potential. We speak for tomorrow, and when we speak God heals. Jesus is still on the throne. He is our savior, and he is our shepherd.”
Bishop Beard made a short statement following Booker-Jones’s message: “I stood at the side of her bed. The doctors were ready to give up, but we have another doctor. God stepped in. I would like to thank IGRC for their prayers. I’m thankful that we have a God that doesn’t give up, so we should make sure that we never give up on God.”