“Jesus Christ never asked those who met him to become a rabbi like himself. He always asked them to do what they could for him, even when it was a simple request like, ‘Give me a drink.’ For it is when we use the potentials God has given us to advance the purposes of God’s Kingdom that we become partners with, rather than strangers to, our Lord."
"I do not know you. I do not know your potentials. I do not know what for you Would be the equivalent of Jesus Christ asking the woman at the well for a drink. But I do know that when you give to God and do for God whatever you can, you move from the fringe to the center, from isolation to belonging, from doubt to understanding, from conversation to conversion."
~John L. Bell
These are the words of John Bell, one of the members of the Iona Community and a prolific songwriter. The sentiment behind them reminds me of a conversation that took place between Bob Geldof and Mother Teresa. Apparently the two met in an airport in Ethiopia. Geldof was the driving force behind Band Aid/Live Aid that arose as a response to the famines in Africa in the 1980s. Mother Teresa was in Ethiopia in the hope of setting up orphanages.
As the two spoke with each other, Geldof remembers that he was in awe of this tiny woman who was the very embodiment of goodness. When he praised her for the work she was doing she took his hand in hers and said,
"Remember this, I can do something you can't do.
and you can do something I can't do.
But we both have to do it."
All of us have something we can do, something to offer back to God, who has given us everything. God does not ask us to be other than we are, but God does want us to be all that we can be.
In Paul's letter to the people of Rome he writes:
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship.....
So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy in proportion to faith; ministers in ministering; the teacher in teaching; the giver in generosity; the leader in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness."
As we begin this shared ministry together at St Andrew, I look forward to each of us giving of our gifts, the gifts that God first gave us, to work to the glory of God and to make God’s love known through our words and our actions.
May God bless us as we begin this new ministry, and may we trust God to walk with us through every moment of every day.
Blessings and peace,