About a month ago, Darth Vader and I went to the hospital to visit a twelve-year-old boy following his 18th surgery. How cool was that? Certainly, walking around with the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet was awesome, but for me the really great part was seeing God’s people at work. What a picture of the church – one of our members showing up with light-saber in hand in order to share some kindness and “wow” another one of our members.
I love that story – it’s definitely worth spot-lighting! However, I would also like to highlight all who serve behind the scenes. Not everyone can be ‘a sith lord’ after all.
When I consider the work of the many volunteers and unsung heroes at Messiah, there is a movie (other than Star Wars) that comes to mind. It’s A Wonderful Life is my all-time favorite. If you haven’t seen the film – don’t wait for Christmas – it’s a must see for any time of year.
The story involves a man who falls into suicidal despair because he thinks he has accomplished nothing of value. He is rescued by Clarence, his guardian angel who shows him how miserable the lives of his town, his friends and his family would have been had he never existed to touch them with his goodness.
Pastor Bill Hybles has said, “There’s nothing like the local church when the local church is working right.” For the local church to be working right, it takes a team of many hands. Thanks be to God that indeed, there are many “George Baileys” doing the good and often ordinary kind of work that needs to get done for our church to be working right. Thank you! I often look around Messiah (and beyond) with a great thanksgiving in my heart.
Please know that you are appreciated, loved and valued! Your goodness is making a difference! Thank you for serving in all kinds of ways: bible-study teachers, card-makers, chair-setter-uppers, chair-taker-downers, small group guides, board members, Helping Hands, babysitters, eyeglass preppers, auction planners, organizers, crew leaders, school aides, mission champions, snow shovelers, singers, guilders, counters, cleaners, ushers and elders!
By the way – I cringe when I write a paragraph like that, thinking now who did I leave out? Regardless of whether I acknowledge it (although I hope you know my appreciation) – our Lord knows! Jesus said in Mark 9:41 “I tell you the truth, anyone who gives a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.” Hey, it’s great to get a reward; but I find the real beauty of that passage is that: Jesus Knows. He knows your good deeds and acts of goodness as you volunteer getting the job done. Even a cup of water (or kool-aid at Vacation Bible School) is noticed by God and puts a smile on His face.
Thank you for all that you do to make Messiah A Wonderful Church! May the Force (and the love of God) be with you!
Chuck Schlie serves as Associate Pastor and Head of School at Messiah Lutheran. As a father of 5 and over 25 years of ministry experience, he writes about faith, family and occasionally…fun!