"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mission: Impossible?

Mark 2:17 ESV And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
        A stereotypical image flashes into my mind on reading Mark 2:17. It is of a clergyman who lavishes attention on the "saints" who write big checks to support the church, the stalwart, good ol' guys and gals who get things done. And the others? The also-cames? They're good-to-go with a Sunday handshake and smile.         I can hear someone saying, "Why, that hypocritical preacher! What does the Bible say about not being a respecter of persons? Not showing favoritism?" Well, that someone is right on the money. The Bible does forbid showing favoritism based on wealth, fame, good blood or any other criteria. But that ubiquitous someone missed a rather crucial point.         Where does the Bible say the job of loving folks is the pastor's exclusive responsibility? I'll save you some time; it doesn't! In a small church body, the pastoral team consists of the pastor and his or her spouse. In a large congregation, more people are on staff to assist in shepherding the flock. But in any size congregation, the staff will never be numerous enough to make the rounds of everyone who needs help, or just a little attention.         That's where you, the stalwart ones, the workers, the givers, the decision-makers, come into play. Theoretically, you are the spiritually mature core of the church. In fact, the New Testament directs all its "whosoevers" and "one-anothers" at you.         So, what are you going to do about that, O saint of the church? Will you hear and agree with all the critical comments about stuff not getting done? Or will you step up and "Just Do It?" Yeah, yeah, I hear that grumbling about the ten-percent who do ninety-percent of church chores. Don't seem right, does it.         The fundamental, cruel fact is, "Life Isn't Fair." The workers and the givers(usually the same people) do take the brunt of the work.         "And we still have to spend time on the nobodies? The also-cames?"         The believer's minimum duty is to love as God loves; Mission: Impossible for for the world, but expected of us. So, our mission, if we choose to accept it(if we will obey God, we'd better accept it), is to love everyone in your sphere of influence—sacrificially, consistantly, joyfully. Yeah, I know, "Good luck pulling that off." Don't you believe me? Ask God. It was His idea.

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