Posts Tagged Work
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
The Work of Rest
- Take off your shoes, get comfortable walking on holy ground… as opposed to keeping the floor clean.
- Take off your traveling shoes and stay awhile
- Take off your work shoes and rest
- Take off your athletic shoes and rest from striving to win.
Joy is Found in the Holy Places
- Camp Glisson
- Buckeye Creek
- Prayer Closet
- Altar Rail
- In Songs,
- Spiritual moments and memories
The 3rd Rule of Methodism
Practice your piety. not Pie-eating
The Question for tonight: What are you doing to seek the holy JOY of the Lord?
Don’t just tease God on Sunday morning, spend time dwelling all day, wherever you are.
Practice hunting for Joy: Not everyone finds because not everyone is searching.
Practice naming and claiming Joy: Pokemon Go model of not only seeking but capture for later use.
Practice offering Joy to one another in the face of our obstacles. Fear, Grief, Guilt, Apathy, Ignorance, Greed, Shame, etc.
Setting a new Millstone for Joy (Commitment time)
Where will I look for Joy: Sunday school, new small group or study, personal study, a journal
How will I stay connected to Joy: Will I stay in God’s word and songs? Will I start the conversations? Will I use the post its’
Where will I begin sharing Joy each day: It is a USE it or LOOSE it power. Keep it ready, keep it handy, keep it alive.
Joy is not forced upon us, but it ours through Jesus Christ who died and lives for us: Our greatest Joy.
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. [NRSV]
This scene is one we can only imagine. Luke recounts how after the resurrection, after breakfast on the beach, after the crowds of believers began to grow again and things looked so promising, Jesus leaves the disciples.
His final words area a charge for those who believe to be witnesses: At home, in the community, to strangers and enemies, foreign and domestic. Tell the world about Jesus. Tell the world about God. Tell the world about the Holy Spirit. Tell the world about the church.
The disciples’ response to this call to action is to stare up at the sky with their heads in the clouds.
Two angel’s show up and remind them of the words that they just heard less than sixty seconds prior. What are you doing here, when there is work to be done. Get up and get to it.
How long are we suppose to be witnesses?
Until Jesus Comes Back.
How long are we suppose to volunteer, serve, lead, cook, clean, clothe, teach, sing, remind and remember, forgive and trust?
Until Jesus Comes Back.
How long are we suppose to be the body of Christ? Until we retire? Until we get burned out? Until we give the next check? Until it’s summer vacation?
Jesus left us with work, until he returns.
The disciples devoted themselves to prayer and began the mission of the church..
We come to the table of the Lord, breaking bread and drinking from the cup to be renewed in this work and fed in the Holy Spirit.
If we rely only on our skills, knowledge and our patience, we will fade, fail and fall away.
Pray with me…
Gracious God, may we reveal your kingdom, may we teach your Word and ways. May we remember and retell of your death and resurrection and the power. May we find your strength to accomplish your challenge.
Theme: We have work to do, What are you sitting here with so much to be done.
6 Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8 and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9 This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11 For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13 Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.
My first job was working on my grandfather’s farm. He paid $20 a week. We got up at dark, at a full breakfast, fed the chickens, hogs and cows. We fueled up the tractors and checked out all the equipment we would use for the day and set out into the fields to plow, plant or harvest. We would eat lunch and watch, “The Young and the Restless” (as it was the only channel that his thirty foot antenna would receive so far out in the country. Back to fields until six and it was time put us the tractors, wash up and get to the table for dinner. We would look forward to Sunday as it was a day of rest.
I had a few self-employed jobs raking leaves, cutting grass and occasional garden tilling, it was a seasonal cash-only enterprise that was not very dependable nor sustainable as a student. I was relieved to find an opening at Connelly’s drugs store, making drug runs to customer who preferred home deliveries and later I moved up in the company from drug runner to soda jerk. It was there I learned the secret receipt for Pimento Cheese and thick malted milk shakes.
Later I worked at Holloway’s department store, Mr and Mrs Holloway just visited us in worship a couple of Sunday’s ago. Then I got to spin some record and read the news paper on the local AM radio station. In college I worked in the computer lab and as a summer camp counselor at Glisson in Dahlonega.
I had planned to enter the field of pharmacy and following Dr Connelly’s example of caring for folks at the pharmacy counter. But while on a UMMen’s mission trip to Monterrey, MX I received a clear call that my work would be in the church. And since 1984 I have known what direction my work would take. Since that time I have served near Cartersville, Covington, Gainesville, Atlanta, near Athens, Marietta, Fairburn, Blue Ridge and now Jackson, 9 congregations, 4000+ church members, 2600+ sermons, 200+ weddings, 400+ funerals, 200+ baptisms and confirmations… and I have more than a decade and a half waiting.
I am thankful that the church has given me a vocation of work that facilitates my calling into ministry. But I am not the only minister in the church. You are not only surround by ministers, you are a minister as well.
The United Methodist Church appointed called, trained and examined over a 7 year process clergy to serve in churches. We are to administer the sacraments, preach the Word, and give spiritual and administrative leadership to the congregation. In my career the role of clergy has transformed from pastor-preacher into some hybrid of a professional administrator charged with being pastor, orator, peace-maker, teacher, lawyer, fund-raiser, preacher, spiritual guide, singer, actor, counselor, janitor, as well as target for blame and visionary for folks who resist change. The work is different in every week and every year in every ministry setting.
I have a philosophy of ministry, an understanding of my call to ministry, and this is it: My work is to make sure your work is done. If you are not working the work of the local church in Jackson and around the world, then I’m not doing my job very well. That means most of the time, my job is to work myself out of the jobs you give me and give the work back to you, the church.
Paul’s words to the church a Thessaloniki are words point toward the church and to the members within our flock, both then and now.
Probably the most familiar of sayings about who does the work around a church:
There is the 20/80 rule. 20 % of the people do 80 % of the work.
The Preacher and Staff do the work, that’s why we pay them to do it for us.
Paul reminds us that the work of the church is to be shared by everyone.
No, not everyone is called, nor able to all things.
But none are called to be retired.
None are too new or too inexperienced.
None are given a free pass, excused absences, or
Paul starts with a COMMAND. Thou SHALL work..
Following is as necessary as Leading.
Studying is as important as Teaching.
Praying is as crucial as Singing.
Giving is as powerful as Serving.
Forgiving is as essential is Assurance and Justice.
Some are Living in Idleness. Some Busybodies. Some of not any work at all.
Should these folks wear name tags? NO, they need to jump up and help out.
Command to get working: Not for praise, Not to earn a place, rather because they already have a place—in the church and in the kingdom.