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Thursday, March 8, 2012
Blessed is that servant whom the master will find at work when he arrives.
Midwesterners are typically known for their values of hard work and dutifulness. We pride ourselves on a job well done. Often we do whatever needs to be done no matter what personal sacrifices we need to make to see a job through to completion.
Yet I wonder sometimes if we are as diligent and dutiful about our spiritual lives as we are about caring for our family’s life and our working lives. Do we merely look busy or are we really attending to the care and calling of the life of discipleship?
The theme for this Lenten season is “What Does a Disciple Look Like?” When I think about that question, I think about all the wonderful people, clergy and lay folks alike, who are devoted to walking in the footsteps of Jesus; people who “walk the walk” and not simply “talk the talk.” These are people who are dedicated to living a life of compassion and kindness. These are people who intentionally seek to be of service to others. These are people who choose not to hold grudges but seek to offer forgiveness to those who have hurt and injured them, no matter how difficult it is. These are people who seek to be open and inclusive of others rather than traveling in tight, closed social circles. These are people who work hard for justice and seek just relationships in all parts of their lives. These are people who seek to grow in faith and faithful living and loving.
Our own local church is filled with disciples, too many to name. I am inspired regularly by your stories of how you walk the walk of faith. When I look around the United Church of Christ for models of discipleship that inspire me, I am astounded by how many people we have whose lives Jesus has transformed and are at work in helping to transform the lives of other people in rich and meaningful ways. I think about our national church leaders. I also think about all those people working in their home churches, our mission and ministries locally and globally, and the hundreds of unnamed servants of the Lord who in humble ways reach out to bring a cup of cold water in Christ’s name.
Gracious God, help us to lead a life of compassionate, faithful discipleship that is an inspiring witness to others. Amen.
To support the discipleship of our church by making a special offering to OCWM, use one of the OCWM envelopes or go to the “contribute” page of our website www.firstcongoappleton.org.
I was inspired last year by the story of twin brothers who unable to secure jobs following their college graduation set out on an adventure of visiting and serving the UCC in its various settings across the nation. Maybe it will inspire you also: www.ucc.org/news/nc-brothers-embark-upon.html. Follow them on their blog, which is accessible from this website.
Rev. Jane Anderson, Pastor for Congregational Life