Devotional Thought of the Day
14 “You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (TEV)
313 It seems to me that we shall have our hands full to keep these commandments, practicing gentleness, patience, love toward enemies, chastity, kindness, etc., and all that these virtues involve. But such works are not important or impressive in the eyes of the world.
Of great importance are the things which are said about closely joining spiritual formation with the doctrinal and pastoral; about living a life patterned after the Gospel without looking out for one’s own comfort or that of one’s family; about cultivating a deep appreciation of the mystery of the Church. From all this, they will be well taught to dedicate themselves wholly to the service of the Body of Christ and to the work of the Gospel
844 Raise magnificent buildings? Construct sumptuous palaces? Let others raise them. Let others construct them. Souls! Let us give life to souls—for those buildings and for those palaces! What fine dwellings are being prepared for us!
Today a parable is being written, the kingdom of God is like, changing the sand in a sandbox.
Where people today are investing their time, their laughter, one man acquired the use of a little tractor, another supplied the money for the sand that fundraisers didn’t. Some will pay with sore muscles, sore and blistered hands, and weary bodies. Others sacrificed to buy and prepare the lunch.
In a week, the place where they toiled will be filled with children, laughing, playing, their joys of laughter floating through the window to where I presently sit. None of them will think about the workers that toiled this day, neither will their parents. But this is the place where they will hear of Jesus’ love for them, where they will learn the songs that will praise Him, where some will be baptized. It is here where souls will be given life, and hope, where they will come to know the love of God.
Yes, moving sand, literally tons of it, just like cleaning furniture and toys may seem unimportant in the eyes of the world. But the blessing to these children, to their parents will bring glory to God. The faith, the trust in God which drives such action, is not always even a conscious decision. It is simply what a community does, it comes together, it serves, alongside each other, in ways most will not ever see. Just like a heart beating, unseen and powerful, bring blood and oxygen to give life.
The resulting light shining bright, and it bring glory to God! The work the sweat and tears, lead to laughter and joy, and little ones coming to know Jesus.
This is the church, this is the Kingdom over which God reigns….
Come join us!
Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 407). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.
Catholic Church. (2011). Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church: Ad Gentes. In Vatican II Documents. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11. The Way (Kindle Locations 1950-1952). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Devotional/Discussion thought of the Day:
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:11-16 (NLT)
It was one of the worst games that I have seen Tom Brady play in 14 years.
Two of his rookie wide receivers drop 17 passes between them Besides one veteran returning from injury, only six passes of 26 were caught in the game. It was frustrating, obviously so. Even the fact that they beat a nemesis didn’t take away the sting that this game was just…. ugly.
An espn article quotes Brady after the game…
“It’s unrealistic for them to feel like they can do it like 10-year veterans. That’s not what they are,” Brady said. “But they’re trying hard and they work real hard and they have a lot of skill.”
As I thought about the game that night, and yesterday, I saw some great applciation to ministry. Especially to the very unique combinaiton of pastoral care and how that makes Christian Leadership somewhat different than Leadership in the world.
Yousee, in the real world – you play that badly, and you will get cut, or you will lose your starting position, until you can demonstrate some level of trustworshiness. Until you can prove you can get the job done. In business, you might just get fired. Some coaches and bosses can be quite callous about that. They would just get rid of you.. no questions to be asked. Here’s your last check, and don’t let the door hit you on the…
Some would even argue that the Patriots owe it to their fans – and especially to Tom Brady, one of the best qb’s in history, if not the best, to get rid of these guys and get him some real football players.
But Christian leaders have another level of responsibility. They aren’t just called to develop the good people, they are called to equip all the people of God. Including those that, how can we say it, mmove at a different pace than the rest?
It’s unrealistic to expect people not to fail in their walk with God. It is unrealistic to expect them to grow at the same rate; to comprehend to the same depth, that all would awlays trust God, as completely, as deeply…
Yet i think that’s what we sometimes do, I know that is how most Bible Studies are written, as if every congregation, and every Bible study, and every confirmation class developed in the same way. And we are trained to use them, right out of the box from the publisher – hand out the individual books – and get the study down in 13 weeks.
If people drop the pass, if they miss a week – wel, that’s their fault, and that one or two truths.. they aren’t that important. Are they? That odd question from the back right of the “classroom” – the one that opens a very special can of tangental worms… requiring a half-hour deviation? Just skip it – deal with it privately. Right?
No – we can’t expect everyone to get everything, to know it all, to not have a bad week, a bad game. We are called to be patient, and to let our desire that no one perish determination our actions and thoughts, rather than just our frustration We – pastors, ministers, priests, vicars, deacons, elders, and every other leader in church, are called to lead by serving. To lead sacrificially, to lead like Christ did… bearing our cross. To love them, knowing what it will take to get them to grow in faith, and in their being set apart to walk with God.
Leadership in the church, and among Christian leaders is more like the USMC – we don’t leave anyone behind…. even if that requires the impossible.
Why? Because we got the win, its assured, Christ is victorious, and therefore those with Him are as well. so let’s take our time – and work with everyone whom God brings ( or sends us out to go get) If it means things gets dirty and ugly and frustrating, there is a win at the end of the game. So we do what we do, fixing our eyes on Christ – the one who generated and perfected our faith in God.
The announcers both expressed a confidence during the game that was longer reaching than just the game. They said, that by the end of the season, Brady will have transformed these two young receivers into a weapon that couldn’t be stopped. If a mere man, playing a game can do that…. what can God do with and through us?
Let’s find out!
- Am I Still A Pastor? (bluechippastor.org)
- A Clergy Dominated Church? (jerrykieschnick.wordpress.com)