Friday, July 19, 2013

Pedal Faster, Gilligan, Part 4

Continued from yesterday...

Steve is the rider on the far side
There is an urgency to the mission that Jesus has given the 70 he is sending.  He is turning his face toward Jerusalem, and he knows he is running out of time.  The idea of a harvest implies a need for immediate action.  Act now before winter comes and it is too late.  Jesus tells those he sends to “greet no one on the road.”  In other words, don’t be distracted from what I am sending you to do.  And when they fail in what they are doing, they are to shake the dust from their feet, and move on.  Don’t spend time regretting what has happened, or trying to fix it – move on.

Do we sit on the side of the road and play in the dust?  Is there dust in our churches?  One church had a meeting where they spent an hour developing a Table Cloth Policy – if you are going to use the church’s tablecloths, then there is a policy for what to do with them afterward.  Do we spend too much time on this kind of non-ministry, so that we miss the urgency of what we are called to do?  The 70 are going out in the world to bring healing and to provide news of the kingdom of God.  That is our mission, too, and we need to understand the urgency of it.  People are hurting, they are hungry and they need to hear about God, and we can do something about that.

Pick up your bicycle, Gilligan, and pedal faster!

At Annual Conference last month, I served on the Worship Team.  Part of what that means is that we hang around before worship and are assigned last minute tasks that we didn’t anticipate doing.  One morning I was doing my job of hanging around before worship when I was asked to be an anointer for a healing service.  I had never done that before, and in fact, had to ask how to do it.  Long ago, I discovered that if God calls me to do something, God will help me to do it, so I picked up the oil and walked without worry to my station.  I was “without worry” until a group of three women came up to where I was standing.  One of them was obviously ill, wearing a cap to cover her loss of hair.  She was being helped to where I was standing by her two friends.  All three were crying.  I felt totally unable to do what I was being asked to do – to anoint the three of them for healing.  I felt that way until I remembered that it was not at all about me.  I was the one sent, but God was the one doing the ministry, so I did what I was called to do and anointed them, praying that God would bring healing.  I don’t know what form that healing will take in their lives, but I believe the healing will come.  God is at work in the world.

We are called, each and every one of us, to be a part of the ministry of God – the Body of Christ.  There is plenty of work to do, and God will provide the means to do it.  We are called to step out in faith, hands empty of everything except the love of Christ, and reach out – right now, today – to make a difference in the world for God – to allow God to make a difference in the world through us.

Are you ready?  Pick up your bicycle, Gilligan, and start pedaling.

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