This blog is to add “One More Thing” or two to Sunday’s message. You can’t always say everything in a message, so the blog is designed to expand on the message. If you weren’t in worship, you can watch the message on Middletown UMC’s Facebook page or listen to it on our website at middletownumc.org.
Every one of us has been called by Christ to enter the broken places of our world and bring healing. Some are called into full-time ministry where our calling is live out through our careers in a religious organization. Some live out their call in what many would classify as secular jobs like in the fields of education or medicine for example. Others will find they’re called to live out their call in volunteer positions. We are not all called into full-time ministry, but we are all called and gifted to be in ministry.
Living out our call whether paid or unpaid can be rewarding when we see Christ healing the broken through what we do. However, once you say yes to your call don’t expect everything to be easy and comfortable. Our ministry can be painful at times. We are, after all, called to be in the broken places in our world. Being with the physically, spiritually, or emotionally broken can be difficult and exhausting. However, just as Christ will gift you for your calling, Christ we also give you the strength for the painful days.
I have known unbelievable joy throughout my ministry, but not always happiness. Happiness is situational. Something good and positive must be happening in our lives for us to know happiness. However, joy comes from a place much deeper. Joy is not rooted in what is happening around us at any given moment. Joy comes for a deep and abiding relationship with Christ. The joy we have in Christ Jesus will keep us from despair, even though we might be overwhelmed by the hurt we find in the broken places in our world.
Ministry is hard because we are usually with people when they are hurting the most. Being able to hear Christ call and have the faith to follow is only the beginning. We will fall into despair unless we continue to nurture our relationship with Christ. Only you know what nourishes your soul. Some people find nourishment through prayer, or scripture, or music or conversations with friends or meditation. What’s important is that find what works for you and then do it, if not, burnout will some follow.
Christ will not call you and then abandon you. Jesus promised over and over again that he would be with us always. However, we must do our part to stay in relationship with him.
There is nothing more rewarding and joyful than living out our call, even in the broken places of our world.