A FEW LAST WORDS
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
As I pack to move on to my next assignment, I have wondered if there is anything more that I should have done in my interim ministry at All Saints Lutheran. I firmly believe that the people of God in this place and in this time are ready to do the ministry of Jesus Christ. I know that they are ready to start working with their new pastor. (I don’t think anything new has been broken recently.) What else needs to be done?
I am not sure that enough prayers have been done by all the people of All Saints. I know that the Call Committee and some of the members have been praying for the call process. I know that prayer and putting ourselves into the hands of Christ is essential to the process but has a majority of the congregation been voicing their requests to the Lord? Are we praying for the courage to face the ministry Jesus has chosen for All Saints? Are we focused and disciplined in our petitions to God that as the congregation waits for God’s answer, we may be transformed by our prayers into the vessels that can best serve God? Is there a group within the congregation whose main purpose is prayer and keeping our voices before God’s presence?
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
Are you ready to deal with conflict, disagreement, differences of opinions, etc., etc.? Remember that it is not about winning the vote or getting what you want or being right or righteous. It is about loving your brother or sister in Christ no matter what. Whether they are right or wrong, good or bad, or just plain irritating. Ask first, how this will support the faith and well-being of each other, then deal with it.
We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
And finally, though you will always be in my prayers, the responsibility is now yours. You cannot wait expecting your next pastor to get it done. You cannot look at the Christians sitting next to you to do it for you. You have been entrusted with the work of the Lord in this place and this time. Do it!!!
Be good. Be kind to one another. Be faithful.