[PC-USA] 2004-09-17 - Just One of the Crowd

Encore 1999-09-10

Today we continue our examination of women in the Bible and what we can learn from them.

Mat 27:55 (NNAS) Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from  Galilee while ministering to Him.

Except for three who were named, these women were unknown, behind-the-scenes servants, but they were performing vital service. What could be more important than ministering to Jesus? Too often, we want to do what is "visible" to other church members. We want to be affirmed, which is very natural. We measure the worth of our ministry by what people say about it. But if that were the criteria we should use, Nehemiah would be a failure; people scoffed at him. Paul would be a failure; he was jailed for what he said and did. By these standards, Christ Himself would be a failure. He was expected to be a royal king; instead, He was "simply" an humble servant (See Lk. 24:19-21.)

At times, we feel that what we do doesn't make a discernible difference. Cleaning up in the church kitchen, running the tape-duplicating machines, folding bulletins -- we feel these chores are unimportant. But without bulletins, visitors would have difficulty keeping up during the service. Without tapes, the homebound sometimes could not hear the sermon. Henri Nouwen said we could make our work a prayer to God. Luther believed similarly, that even sweeping a floor could be done worshipfully as service to God. Each person in the Body of Christ is necessary.

1 Cor 12:20-25 (NNAS) But now there are many members, but one body.And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

YOU are necessary to the Body. The church needs YOU. YOU have an essential place in God's church, which He created YOU for; there is no one else who can fill that niche exactly as YOU can. If you aren't certain what your gift(s) is, ask a couple of wise, trusted Christian friends who know you well. Take a spiritual gifts test. Try something you are interested in; get your feet wet. If you are not doing what God gifted you to do, there is something missing in the church.

Dear Lord, please help us find our role in Your Body, and fill it. Then help us to offer up all our work and service to You as worshipful service. In Jesus' name, amen.