We Talked About What People Should Expect of Their Pastor, But What Should He Expect of Them?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
2 I have chosen Bezalel from the Judah tribe to make the sacred tent and its furnishings. 7 Not only have I filled him with my Spirit, but I have given him wisdom and made him a skilled craftsman who can create objects of art with gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood. 6 I have appointed Oholiabh from the tribe of Dan to work with him, and I have also given skills to those who will help them make everything exactly as I have commanded.you: Ex 31:2-6 CEV
†3 Judas had betrayed Jesus, but when he learned that Jesus had been sentenced to death, he was sorry for what he had done. He returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and leaders 4 and said, “I have sinned by betraying a man who has never done anything wrong.”
“So what? That’s your problem,” they replied. 5 Judas threw the money into the temple and then went out and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests picked up the money and said, “This money was paid to have a man killed. We can’t put it in the temple treasury.” 7 Then they had a meeting... Matt. 27:3-7 CEV
612 Get rid of those proud thoughts! You are but the brush in the hand of the artist, and nothing more. Tell me, what is a brush good for if it doesn’t let the artist do his work?
Yesterday I wrote about the things that pastors should be doing, sharing the gospel with people everywhere, forgiving and retaining sins, and being that hands that administer the sacraments. The people of God should be able to expect these things, and indeed, ensure their pastors have the time to do so.
But what about the other side of the coin? What should a pastor (and other church leadership) expect of those people they invest time serving?
I think we see that in the reading from Exodus, as two men are called, not to be priests and pastors, but to use their gifts in the service of God. These two, out of two million people, were ordained and commissioned, set apart for a certain task. See how God has made it clear that the Holy Spirit is guiding him in this, and God has given him wisdom and made him a skilled craftsman for this very vocation?
Pastors shouldn’t have to beg people to use their God-given skills and wisdom to do what the Holy Spirit is preparing them to do. Most of it isn’t miraculous stuff, it is day to day things, like these guys sewing together the tent, and making the furnishing.
The other thing is the one thing scripture shows Judas doing right, even as he does what some consider the worst sin in scripture. With great sorrow, desiring an answer for the guilt and shame he is feeling, e goes to the priests, looking for hope, looking for mercy, trying to figure out what do with his soul being crushed.
He did the right thing, even in the Old Covenant there was a way to confess sins and be given the hope of forgiveness, of having the sins washed away, of having God breathe new life into a soul oppressed by darkness. (That they “held a meeting” rather than absolving Judas might be the worst case of clergy malpractice in history)
Pastors need to expect people will come to be given hope, to confess their sins, that they will know they are forgiven. That is part of people’s responsibility, but it also takes pastors being open to it, encouraging it often. They need to be helping people to know the burdens they bear, guilt, shame, resentment, anger, are all within God’s ability to remove. They need to know it is God’s desire to free them from that crap.
If these things happen, we won’t need to talk about reviving churches… it will happen naturally.
In summary, the people need to do, as part of the ministry of the family of God, what God has called them, gifted them with skill and wisdom, to do.
And come, as often as needed, to be assured of the grace of God cleansing them of every sin.
Lord, help this occur!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on December 17, 2019, in Devotions, st josemaria escriva, The Way, Theology in Practice and tagged Life in Christ, pastor and people, priesthood of all believers, The Church. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.