Psalm 95, 22; Exod. 9:13-35; 2 Cor. 4:1-12; Mark 10:32-45
“Since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.” II Corinthians starts today with this sentence. The ministry you have–ministry meaning here service, not “something I do at church or for my church”–is why you don’t lose heart. So, what’s your ministry? How are you serving?
A few parish heroes over the past couple of weeks, and I know I’m missing names so I apologize: Caleb Stiles and Jay Simmons are suddenly feeding hundreds, maybe thousands, more students per day than anticipated through the Y nutrition program and our teachers, too numerous to mention, have been handing those out. Cara Borland and Carol Stark made sure we were (reasonably, not in a hoarderish sense) stocked on toilet paper so that, should shut ins run low, we’re able to help. Melinda Wilson and Shirley Gollhofer and Madi Kyger are busy making face masks because suddenly nursing homes are being told that their employees will have to wear them–a month after face masks disapparated from the market. Ceri Otero, Dave Armstrong and Kirby Newport are trying to make sure Carthage city government continues functioning. Health care workers–Bell & Bell, Mountjoy & Mountjoy, Cartright & Cartright, George & George, Mercer, Grills, Haffner, Dymott, Goade, Broadaway, Osborne, Schesser, Weber, Ulmer, Kester, Neely, Hill. I’m sure I’m missing names but the entire system, are suddenly being compared to front line warriors. And you? Look, we’re all called to ministry. Can’t be an ER nurse? Give blood. Pray. Call a shut in. Sign up to deliver meals on wheels. Donate to a food bank or volunteer at a food bank. Write a supportive note to one of the names above. Ministry, service, is what keeps one from losing heart, and ministry isn’t what you do in church or for your church. Not just, at any rate.
In a dark depressing confusing scary time, what keeps one from losing heart? Rolling up your sleeves and getting to work for your neighbor and your neighborhood. Service.