Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ministry to the Minors

This particular Sunday is probably one that is not well known in the North American Church and when it is, it is a day that is not celebrated with a whole lot of relish. It is the Reign of Christ the King Sunday. And that means we have come to the end of yet another liturgical year. Next Sunday is the start of Advent and the preparations for another Christmas are going to be well underway. But I hope that before we get into the glitz and the glamour of Christmas and everything that is the modern and secular part of December and Christmas and the turning of another year, that you would come aside with me for a moment on this mountain top to have a look at what is truly coming.

Before you get all “psyched out” let’s remember something important. I heard Bishop Tom Wright recently remind a group of people in a video that, “Christmas is important... but it is not the end of the world.” In fact I would say that it is not the end but only the beginning of the new one. That’s what is worth looking at from this mountain top the city, the world that God is recreating through the work and life of Christ. You and I are privileged to live in a time where we are preparing for the coming of the kingdom that God is building here on earth. In this one life we are called and challenged by the Gospel not to be sacred fence sitters. Maybe you know that kind of believer; the one who has made a commitment to Christ, believes and says all the right things but never actually lives out one’s faith. The sacred fence sitter sits on the sidelines and waits for the end of the game, never taking the chance to play much less get dirty doing so. They sit and soak up all they can about the religious life but never lift a hand or move their feet to help a person in need.

That is the hope that people around us need and it is the expectation that both Scripture and God place upon us. we are called to serve and to do ministry for the minors And if this is a “heavy” for you, keep something in mind: those who will not follow will not enter and those who do follow will still have to be shown how they did it. And for people like me who are ordained and commissioned to be shepherds in the flock, leading the people of God will not only be judged for what we have done our own selves, we will be judged for how we have led and cared for the flock. I will be doubly judged for my part. Thus, I think that it is important for me as a priest and a pastor, to let people in the Church know that we cannot simple rest in the past or on our laurels. We are called buy Christ to seek him out by serving those we find around us. So let us seek out the least, the last and the lost that we might not only see Jesus in this moment, but also be ready to see his kingdom and his rule as king become permanent in the life of this city for his sake.

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