Welcome to the Monday Mailing #34 –
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that,
because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
When I was 16, my father died of a heart attack, after years in and out of the hospital with strokes and heart attacks. I was lost. Six months later I went to an event at the church (I hadn’t been for a couple of years. . .I wasn’t made to feel like I belonged by my peers, so I stopped going). It was there that I heard the speaker talk about the love of God in a way I had never heard before that – it was real, and in what I can only ascribe to the activity of the Holy Spirit in my life, I knew I wanted to know more about this love of God, and the God behind it all. That event, and too many after it to be able to count, made me come alive. At the time I didn’t know that it would result in a calling to ministry. . .I just knew that I wanted to know more. . .wanted to learn more. . .wanted to be more alive.
This notable quote reminds me of the song that was most popular back in the 60s and 70s… and which we still sing to this day – They’ll know we are Christians by our love. Note that it does not say by the way we worship, or by the way we govern ourselves, or even by the way we pray, but by our love.
And that, my friends, is Evangelism. That, sharing the love of God in Christ, is sharing what we know as good news. I will admit, that not everyone has a story like I have, of God using a two-by-four to get me to listen. . . it probably is because I needed to listen at that point and God wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. You may listen more keenly to the voice of God through the Spirit – through the World, than I once did.
Theologian, Presbyterian pastor and author Frederick Buechner has said: The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
(Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC)
The world has deep hunger right now. This nation has deep hunger right now. Our state and region have deep hunger right now. You and I have deep hungers right now. And that is the place where God calls us. We have a deep hunger for hope, for peace, for compassion. Our nation has a deep hunger for understanding, for hope, for reconciliation, for acceptance. Our world has a deep hunger for healing, for wisdom, for listening, for a future filled with hope. So come alive, siblings in Christ. Open you heart and life to the places of deep gladness and deep hunger.
It is the time of Stewardship in the life of the church . . .but really, when isn’t it the time of Stewardship in the life of the church? Every fall we especially ask one another to make the wisest use of your time, your talent, your treasure. Look around the next Zoom meeting you are in and observe the way the members and friends of the church freely give of their time, talent and treasure. The church realizes that God has called us together to be the Body of Christ, and we are to share what we have with the world’s deepest needs.
There was a time when the church relied on others – we called them missionaries – to go out into the world and share the good news, touching the world’s deepest needs. What the institutional church realized was this: sending others was good, but sending ourselves out into the world’s deepest needs was far more important. When we send someone else, they say I care, and God sent me through the church. When we commit to the deepest needs of the world, we say I care. . .and this group of souls from the church care, and what can we do?
Time, talent and treasure. The world’s deepest hunger. People who have come alive. May this be the church. Peace, indeed. . . Pastor Janice
PS – Remember to:
if you plan to attend worship in person.
to share joys and concerns before Sunday worship.