This past Saturday I had to make a quick trip up to the church. When I opened the door I was shocked as I heard the sound of voices in the sanctuary. When I went in to see who was there I saw several people gathered around a big ladder. It appeared that our lights in the sanctuary needed to be replaced. As a pastor, it is one of those scenes that you keep in your soul forever. The kind of moment when God’s presence is felt and noticed. All you here is the laughter of community and absolute joy for this sacred space.
This is the kind of service that motivates me and encourages me as a pastor. I am talking about the ministries that are behind the scenes. They do not seek any accolades in front of the congregation. Without these special ministries, those of us who stand in front of the entire body would not be able to manage well. We would be in the dark without any sound nor visual aids nor refreshments nor…the list continues.
This leads me to a question, “How do you serve God by offering an unknown gift?” It could be in a private conversation with someone or providing a meal to a person. Service takes all forms. I want to encourage you to reach out into the world around you and silently and unselfishly share the love of Christ with someone who might be desperate to hear the Good News.
There is a church that I served that had an incredible food pantry. What distinguished it above other pantries was the openness and non-judgmental atmosphere that greeted everyone who served and everyone who was served. The only requirement to receive assistance was proof of residency in the county. There were no expectations to attend a church service or read a pamphlet. There was just an openness to make a difference in the community.
Many times hope does not come in the form of words. It can be a kind gesture or an unexpected gift. Christ, our hope, can come to us in ways that are bold and incredibly grand. The Divine can also come in a form that is softer than a whisper. Whatever way God comes, let us be open to experience the majesty of that which is greater than who we are. Just like our light bulbs, let us be changed.