Of course there are various odds and ends to any and all callings and endeavors, and these sundry miscellaneous bits and pieces of the work week can be interesting in their own right …but what sort of Emphatic Pastoral Ponderings does the Holy Spirit have the parsons of ECPC working on these days?
Pastor Ginn is brewing up a 3 month series of small group studies on the thematic principles and practices of hospitality and evangelism embedded in the story of Sheba’s Queen visiting King Solomon’s house.
Pastor Piteo is composing a 10 to 12 session series on the humanity of Christ. Perhaps you will see some sneak-peak blog posts of Piteo’s research on this subject in the near future.
Pastor Dirks has recently embarked on a mission to compose a batch of 14 samples of Entering the Joy of Our Author.
Hopefully each of the above mentioned ministers have a sincere personal passion and zeal for their projects, because it may very well be the will of God NOT to parley their research and effort into book deals with Penguin Random House Publishing Co.
It’s an interesting thing …working in the soul care business; there are routine moments of wondering whether or not you’re making a difference. Soul care employees generally operate outside the boundaries of visible (or felt) immediate relevancy and impact, and episodes of downheartedness can sometimes befall them. A man by the name of Isaiah had these moments from time to time. One noteworthy season of discouragement is recorded in the 49th chapter of the book bearing his name …here’s what he says: “I have labored in vain: I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity.” But Isaiah preaches to himself amidst the gloom and fog, saying to his soul, “Yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God; He formed me from the womb to be His servant; to bring Jacob back to Him; and that Israel might be gathered to Him – for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength!”
Our friend Marlin’s favorite author (a 91 year old chap by the name of Fred Buechner) says this:
Ministry. It’s a queer business that you have chosen or that has chosen you. It’s a business that breaks the heart for the sake of the heart. It’s a hard and chancy business whose risks are as great even as its rewards. Above all else, perhaps, it is a crazy business. It is a foolish business. It is a crazy and foolish business to work for Christ in a world where most people most of the time don’t give a hoot in hell whether you work for him or not. It is crazy and foolish to offer a service that most people most of the time think they need like a hole in the head. As long as there are bones to set and drains to unclog and children to tame and boredom to survive, we need doctors and plumbers and teachers and people who play the musical saw; but when it comes to the business of Christ and his church, how unreal and irrelevant a service that seems even, and at times especially, to the ones who are called to work at it…To speak of realities we cannot see when the realities we see all too well are already more than we can handle. To speak of loving our enemies when we have a hard enough time of it just loving our friends. To be all things to all people when it’s usually all we can do to be anything that matters much to anybody. To proclaim eternal life in a world that is as obsessed with death as a quick browse through TV Guide or the newspapers or the drugstore paperbacks make plain enough. God is foolish to send us out on a journey for which there are no sure maps. Such is the foolishness of God. And yet. The “and yet” of it is our faith, of course. And yet, Paul says, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men,” which is to say that in some unsearchable way he may even know what he is doing. Praise him.