But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter.
Today we are asked to consider our ministers, the leaders of our church here at SJR and the wider church beyond. I imagine that the calling to ministry must be a challenging one. A calling to “tend a flock” and come alongside people at the very best and worst times of life. An emotional rollercoaster. Then, there’s the “business” of growing and guiding a church. There are many mundane but necessary tasks. To give yourself over so fully to the work of being Christ’s hands and feet in this world must both draining and rewarding.
But isn’t that what we are all called to do?
Ordained ministry is not everyone’s vocation, but ministry to each other is. Our “strapline” as a church is “Loving God, Loving People” – the greatest commandments (Mark 12, 28-31) distilled into four neat words. This means sharing each others joys and easing each others burdens. Ensuring that our love and respect for each other is at the centre of everything we do.
As our reading today reminds us, this isn’t always easy. Jeremiah was asked to deliver a message no-one wanted to hear to a people who had lost their way. It often feels to me that we, as Christians, face this sort of challenge today. Not everyone is ready (or willing) to hear what we have to say. This is not a reason to be quiet, God will stand beside us.
Whether your work be preaching, caring, music making, painting, cooking, cleaning, administrating, crafting or any of the hundreds of jobs that help witness for Jesus… Loving God, Loving People – that is our ministry.
Ponder… Discerning who is speaking for God is difficult. How do you learn to hear well? And what advice might you pass on to others?
Pray… FOR OUR COMMUNITY Pray for our two ministers, Christine and Brian. Pray that they may be sustained in their energy and health, and that their ministries may be effective for the Kingdom. FOR THE WORLD Pray for wisdom and humility among those who lead our political parties, governments and rule worldwide. Pray especially for our own Prime Minister and Government, that they may lead our country with justice, tolerance and generosity of spirit.
Act… Walk somewhere today and notice the things around you – birds singing or the sun shining.