Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Discipleship In Action

[From Today's Church Newsletter]
As members of this congregation will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?
I know that RUMC gets tired of me saying this every Sunday before the offering in worship. But I also know how generous our church is - and as a congregation, you have certainly offered all of these things in the past week. Removing brush, continuing to build wheelchair ramps, and preparing daily meals has required the service of many people and differing gifts. 

Our own Bill Carr, who serves as the Memphis Conference disaster relief coordinator, is sharing his vast gifts and experience. Melinda Warriner, one of our church staff, is coordinating the preparation and serving of daily meals. Our church youth have been present in so many ways and in varying places. So many of you have stepped up and heard the call.

What lifts my spirits is the participation of area pastors and churches, businesses and individuals, once again working together. Reidland Baptist is very involved with our meal serving. Starting tomorrow morning, we will serve as a meeting place for those who want to begin organized brush and debris cleaning. Golden Eagle Distributing brought us 50 cases of drinking water (I must say it's the first time I've ever been happy to see a Budweiser truck in the driveway of the church!).

Are we blessed? Most certainly. Are we blessed to be a blessing to others? I think that is what God created us to be, isn't it?

Mother Teresa spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast several years ago, and reminded us this:
It is not enough for us to say: "I love God," but I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live? And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is not true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.

It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must "put on Christ" as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love as He loves us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, "You did it to Me." On the last day He will say to those on His right, "whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me, and He will also say to those on His left, whatever you neglected to do for the least of these, you neglected to do it for Me. 
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta, National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, on Thursday, Feb 3, 1994.
Be blessed. And be a blessing. I am very proud of you, RUMC.



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