Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday - affirming the call the Ministry

Prayer: Creator God, thank You that we can come before You this day in prayer, study, and reflection of Your Word. Be with us as we live our lives to Your glory. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Read St. Luke 9: 33 – 36

As Peter opens his sleepy eyes and discovers that with Jesus is Moses and Elijah, he exclaims, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (St Luke 9: 33 NIV- Zondervan, 1984).

Thank goodness that Peter said these words. Frequently, Ministers will preach that Peter was not himself or was saying something that wasn’t really appropriate. And even St. Luke states that Peter didn’t know what he was saying. But in actual fact, Peter was being hospitable and honest. The provision of shelter was a great sign of hospitality as well as a celebration of God. The three men were glowing which for Peter meant that they were in God’s presence. Wanting to set up shelters for two men who were from heaven and didn’t need shelter, it shows Peter had great hospitality.

While Peter was speaking, a cloud gathers around everyone. A voice from the cloud says, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him”. (St. Luke 9: 35 NIV – Zondervan, 1984). These are the same words that came out of the cloud after the Baptism of Jesus.

For Jesus, this was confirmation of his task. His extremely daunting calling that God had given to Jesus. Jesus begins the journey to Jerusalem knowing that it will end in his suffering and death. Does Jesus stumble around and talk to all his friends and tell them what he is going through and gets their opinion? No, not at all. Jesus takes time away and prays. And God responds to the prayers of Jesus by voice, by sending two helpers with the helping presence of the three apostles.

What is the reaction of the three apostles? The apostles kept what they had seen in their hearts and told no one at that time. When we have been through a time of complete change… or in the presence of God…. often we need time to process what we have just seen. Because we have this story of the transfiguration in the Gospels, the apostles did tell the followers of Jesus this story.

During this Lenten season, today pray for Ministers, Elders, and those who lead in the Church that their calling may be affirmed and strengthened. Having a call to Ministry of Word and Sacrament and call to Ruling Elder is not an easy one at all. A call takes time to discern. We need to follow the example of Jesus. He didn't rush off to Jerusalem proclaiming that God had called him to be the Messiah. Not at all. Jesus spent much time in prayer and meditation. Jesus kept silent and let God speak through God's way. Yet, Jesus did not remain inactive. Jesus took action through prayer, Jesus took action through sharing the love of God with the disciples, Jesus took action through healing and teaching. Jesus shared his ministry with others. So too today do Ministers and Elders need to be affirmed of their call to Ministry!

Prayer: Lamb of God, be with all Ministers who share Your Good News. Be with all Ministers who preach Your Good News. Be with all Ministers who visit those who are infirmed and afflicted. Sustain them in sharing the love of Christ with everyone they meet this day. Strengthen their calling so that they remain enthusiastic in Your love. Amen.

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