PONDERINGS OF A PENITENT PASTOR
Can I be honest as a pastor? As one called to oversee the house, I get concerned. In many churches including my own, there are more takers than givers. I find myself giving account to God and saying that we are not taking care of the next generation in the house. We don’t always clean up after ourselves and we do not prepare the house adequately for the Master’s dwelling.
We like to wait for the Master’s return so he will wash our feet and prepare our table. When God is in the house, we are sometimes startled awake and realize that we were not ready.
How are we doing as managers in God’s house? I’m the pastor so I know the buck stops here. I have more accountability to God than you would want. God wants to know what I am doing with the people I serve and oversee. I want to tell God that they are all awake and sensitive to the needs of the house. I want to tell Him that you are being really good to your neighbours.
I want to tell God that you are exceedingly generous and always ready to respond to the needs in the house and the neighbourhood. I do not want to tell God that you are missing in action.
I want to tell God about the sacrificial way we care for our families and each other. I want to tell him how we always practice hospitality. I do not want to tell him that a handful pays for everything while others give nothing.
I do not want to answer to God for the shortage of children and youth workers. He might think that the next generations are not valued.
I do not want to hear these words of Jesus and ask Peter’s question:
So, is this for the North American church and all the others that we think fall short in some way? Is this just for pastors, so they will shape up? Surely, this message is for the ones that we judge to be non-committal and spiritually asleep. Or does this message imply that we all will give account for our spiritual service?
To those who have been lulled into thinking that your service to God has no value, please wake up! Jesus’ words are not just about the future Kingdom; they speak to God’s appearance in our lives now! Rise to the task at hand.
To those who have forgotten what God thinks of abusive behaviour, lower your fists and pick up a towel and basin. You have a lot of feet to wash.
To those who have not laid your money at the apostle’s feet to further God’s work, bring your offering humbly. To those who think only of their own appetite, please share what you have. The hungry are at our doorstep.
Then, when God speaks to us of a need we will be awake and ready to do our part. When the Master shows up unexpectedly at night, He will find people who are ready to welcome him. He will reverse roles and care for those who waited on Him.
Together, let us stop hitting the snooze button. There is work to be done and you are such an important part of God’s team. Let’s get up and go!