“…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;…”
The photo above was taken at a cooking class in Siena, Italy (Linda is in the back at the far left, chatting with Fabrizio). We gathered as strangers from various countries. Labor was divided, we each knew our task. Our chef guided us along the way. In the midst of the laughter, joking, the sounds of chopping, mixing, the clanging of pots and pans and much lively conversation a bond began to form among us. After a few hours our various efforts resulted in the fulfillment of our common purpose. Dinner was served.
This is not a bad picture of what a congregation is supposed to look like; people called together to engage their life’s energies and resources with a common purpose. And that purpose is to explore, together, the many facets of what it means to share the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Sadly, many ‘church kitchens’ are virtually empty when it comes to the preparations for ministry. Life’s energies and resources are invested elsewhere. Many are happy to sit down at the table and receive the meal but moving into the kitchen to assist in the preparations is another matter.
Wherever you may be as you read this, if you are a part of a Christian community, that community is the place where God has placed you to share in the exploration and preparation of ministry. The nourishing, simple fare of Word and sacrament is the main course. That never changes. It is always there for you. At the same time the many and various possibilities for expanding the feast of love and service are endless. But there is more to it than that. Engaging in active ministry with others widens and strengthens the bonds of fellowship, sets an example for children, provides a witness to family, friends, business associates and neighbors, develops leadership and multiples the joy that comes with working and serving together for the greater purposes of God’s Kingdom.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and head for the kitchen. You’ll be glad you did! Ciao!
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”