Redeeming the time…
Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (NLT) 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
“At times, fifty per cent of the work is lost because of in-fighting stemming from a lack of charity, and from tales and back biting among brothers. Furthermore, yet another twenty-five per cent of the work is lost by constructing buildings which are unnecessary for the apostolate. Gossip should never be allowed and we shouldn’t waste our time building so many houses. People will then be apostles, one hundred per cent.” (1)
I did a study a few years back, as our church was asked if we could provide space and time for another church – what would be the third congregation that would use our facility. How much would it cost, what wre the implications. At the time, we still had our elementary school, which was struggling, a chinese afterschool program, our preschool, and two congregations. When we added the third congregation, and their midweek services, it ended up that we were using our facility over 70 percent of the time available between 8am and 10 pm. That was amazing. It made me think- what percentage of the classrooms, sanctuaries and offices are used in our churches and chapels and cathedrals around the country? How much empty time is there?
The epistle reading above, focuses our ministry, our message. And I do question – will we plead with others, on God’s behalf, begging them to be reconciled to God. is that the focus of our ministries, is it the reason for our buildings? Is the message of Christ reconciling us to the Father, no longer counting our sins against, so incredible – we pity those who havent’ heard, and break into tears for those who do?
Or are we so busy fighting among ourselves and building kingdoms, that we cannot focus enough on the apostolate – on the mission, the task given us by God? What would it look like, if only we could be focused on the gospel with our lives, our ministries, our facilities – both physical and mental, both human and buildings?
If we could deal with gossip – and use the resources we already have… focusing ministry where they exist – making the sacrifices necessary… would our church look different? Can we, with Paul, realize the precious gospel
Lord have mercy on us.
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3396-3399). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on March 12, 2013, in Devotions and tagged 2 corinthians 5, Gossip. infighting, human-rights, Ministry, pleading, prime directive, redemption, sin, St. Josemaria Escriva, Stewardship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.