Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Gift of Time Second Week of Advent

Just for this week, put aside: any worry that you are not living up to your Call, any concern that you are not doing enough in your ministry, any fear that you are not competent for ministry or worthy. Just for this week, trust God to take care of these for you. At the end of the week, you may if you wish, take back your worries and fears.

Ministry seldom shows results quickly. Ministry takes time. It's not how you feel about yourself this week or what that church member said to you in anger yesterday. Time will show the fruit of your work in God's good measure.

You run to the drug store with baby spit-up, a child's nose bleed or whatever down the front of your shirt. You see a church member and feel embarrassed. Don't. You've just shown your member that you are human, live a real life and aren't perfect. Many of our members worry that we are perfect. They are wrong to do this but our culture encourages thinking of some people as perfect so we fall into this trap. You look like a mess? Great. You freed the member from the trap.

You forget a portion of the worship service. Fine. Read the above paragraph. Relax.

That kid in confirmation class who looks as if he hates being there each week? He's the one who enters the ministry years from now leaving behind an insurance career because he hungers for serving God's people. You are part of his call to ministry.

See that woman over there? The one who looks at you like you are symbol of what is wrong with the entire planet? She's lonely. She's unhappy. She can't get along with anyone who matters to her. She knows something is wrong but can't figure how to ask for help. If only someone would move in closer to her rather than allow her pushing away to keep her isolated. Who knows, you may be the one. Or, not. Regardless, her response to you isn't personal.

While you contemplate repentance and waiting for the Kingdom to arrive, forget about time.

Just for this week. It's not about you and your success or failure. It's about God and God's sense of time is holy, welcoming and right.

St. Casserole

12 comments:

Songbird said...

Thank you for this. I can't wait to see you!

Presbyterian Gal said...

!What!? You mean y'all are NOT perfect?

Well then who the hay-all am I gonna keep up in my sparkly ivory tower? ;)

Kidding aside, I find all of you revs to be, if not perfect, divinely inspiring.

Rev Kim said...

Budget problems, attendance down, people forgetting that Jesus said people are gonna know that we belong to him by how we love one another...you have no idea how much I needed to read this today. Thank you.

cheesehead said...

I love you, did you now that?

cheesehead said...

Um..."know" that.

(That was me, being not perfect.)

Susie/Nueva Cantora said...

I couldn't have read this on a better day... thanks, St. C

more cows than people said...

thank you, st. c. i really needed this. thanks.

Sue said...

Bless you. I needed this. But then, I need this most days. I think I'll bookmark it for those days in Lent that feel very much like this time in the church year.

I do love you my friend.

cpclergymama said...

"Thank you" the imperfect 28 yr old preggers pastor say while weeping uncontrollably behind the closed door to her office, praying the secratary does walk in and see her!

cpclergymama said...

that should be "says" and "does NOT walk in and see her" double sigh. obviously imperfect here!

Crimson Rambler said...

Thank you, I'll lay this to heart for the next time somebody gives me the "hate face"...especially taxing at the communion rail...

will smama said...

amen.