Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Ministry of the Laity
Rev Denny Philip
Carmel MTC Boston
36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Each life is a calling. God wants everyone to involve in the ministry of the Kingdom of God. Life becomes meaningful when we realize this calling and put it in the direction that the creator expects it to be. Whether you are an evangelist, a driver, a teacher or in any other profession, the ministry is never part time but it demands the whole life. Also, ministry is not limited to the office of the church, it is extended to every Christian. The familiar passage of the good Samaritan gives us the mode of ministry.
The ministry springs from sensing the need of the neighbor.
Ministry does not have a universally stipulated pattern applicable to every situation. Instead it arises from the demand of the environment. While the initial passersby in the story were preoccupied with their own engagement of the ministry, they failed to hear the groaning of the robbed and wounded person by the roadside. It was not their lack of commitment that prevented them from helping the person but the inability to rise beyond the pattern of service they were following. It was his sensitivity to human need and pain that helped the Samaritan to keep his eyes and ears open to the cry of the afflicted person. We need not go in search of the ministry but it will come to us provided we have a sensitive heart that moves with compassion.
The ministry develops through the sharing of the resources
Once an avenue of ministry is open, then comes the question of resources. We read, “He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” The primary resource for the ministry is not money but an attitude towards one’s own resources. The Samaritan considers himself not as the owner but the steward of his own resources. So he shares his resources with the man in need. He willingly shares his time, food, medicines, vehicle, energy and finally money. He does not limit it to what he has, but what the other person needs. The words, “I will repay you whatever more you spend” reflects this.
The ministry leads to healing and wholeness
The ultimate aim of the ministry needs to be the healing and wholeness of the creation. Every step taken has to have this end in mind and it will focus and direct the ministry. Rather than a simple act of kindness, it is the restoration of a victim back to health. Healing denotes not only the physical healing, but in bringing back everything to the state expected by the creator. In every realm of ministry, there is a scope of healing. The incorporation of the innkeeper in the ministry points to the fact that it is not a personal affair but a combined effort.
Lord, instill in us your Spirit that we may be sensitive to the world around us. Help us to be stewards of your resources, so that we may be useful in the ministry you have entrusted to us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Jesus is the Great Samaritan to whom the Good Samaritan points.” – Tim Keller