Yesterday was a quiet day…back from a trip…no weekend service to prepare for…gray skies…cold. No office even to go to (although we do have some great temporary digs). I had a thought that I have several times a year… I don’t have to do ministry.
If you think about the nature of freedom, none of us needs to plant a church. I could get a job in the marketplace. We could just stay home on Sundays, or we could form a church that is far less than what we imagine Connexus could be. I’d have more time with my family. More time for myself.
I do actually think in those patterns from time to time. I imagine what my life would be if we weren’t doing this. And it looks attractive for a few minutes. Sometimes it looks attractive for a few days.
But then I think it through a little further, and life for me begins to lose meaning, focus and purpose. I am reminded that we really will stand before God one day, and everything that looks so fuzzy now will be crystal clear. We’ll see all our relationships on earth through the lens of the cross, and we will realize what was at stake. We’ll realize what could have been, and what should have been, and what might have been if we’d partnered with God to bring the reconciliation He longs for us to bring to people through the cross. For whatever reason, God puts a call out to all of us (not just preachers) to partner in His work today, the implications of which will last forever.
Last night as I drove to another appointment, I was flipping radio stations and Rock 95 played one of my favourite 80s songs — Queen (with David Bowie) Under Pressure. Check out the lyrics:
It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming let me out
Pray tomorrow – high higher
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work
Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed
Under Pressure was sung by a couple of guys who struggle deeply with life and with their sexuality. The pain inside for them must have been huge, and they saw it in everyone else. It’s a song that actually asks questions about love and meaning that are answered in the cross, but I’m not sure they knew the answer to that heart-cry is the cross. The song brought tears to me eyes.
A call to ministry is just the way Jeremiah describes it. If you try to shut your mouth, it burns like a fire in your heart. You can’t extinguish it.
I wrote the bulk of this post early this morning at the Second Cup in downtown Barrie watching the first snow gently fall. Somehow it felt like Christmas. As I leave the restaurant, I feel refreshed. Ready to answer a call God placed not only on my life, but on our life together. A call that I can’t escape…and a call today that I again deeply want to embrace. Too much is at stake. God has done too much to keep silent, to pretend there isn’t a solution to the pain, sorrow and sin that have taken too many lives. There’s a fire that burns that just won’t go out.
A short prayer for this morning: God, in some small way, I want to partner with you today to make a difference. Help me. Thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for the cross.
How do you process the whole business of how you serve God in the world? What pulls do you feel in good and not-so-good directions when it comes to serving God?