I had expected to spend this past holiday weekend away at an island camp with the youth from our congregation and two other congregations, returning home exhausted, worn out from serving, delighted to have spent my energy as part of something big and wonderful, where more than a hundred youth come together in praise and fellowship. Do you get the specific servant thing I am describing?
But I was sent home from the retreat (voted off the island) due to illness. One doctor said that he estimates I will need to think about being off work for a week. I went to a clinic at Superstore, and I will see how it goes, and perhaps see my GP this week for a better sense of how long this is all going to take.
I certainly did not Outwork, Outlast, Outplay – but I definitely left a heap of dishes for some of the faithful to tackle.
This was not the outcome that I had anticipated.
Where shall I file this past weekend?
Was it a waste?
Did I do what came to me, with grace?
So here is the question: was what I did last weekend more or less worthwhile than what I had planned to do?
Did I serve God in my enforced sabbatical?
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (ESV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Am I grateful?
– yes, for all the care I received.
– yes, for health.
– yes, for a beautiful place which also had a good bed
and that is a beginning
Doing the right things for life and godliness takes lots of time. Invitations often fall prey to routine responsibilities and shoulds.
Following Jesus, I listen and choose to follow his way.
Worship, work, exercise, chores; Jesus be in all.
I came, I saw, I worshiped but I doubted
I wonder what the Latin would be? (Veni, vidi, venerari, dubitari, vadi)?
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and [spoke] to them…
They worshiped him – and doubted. It was hard for them to believe. Here, just a short time after the Resurrection, when they saw Jesus, risen from the dead, they worshiped him, but some doubted. When they saw Jesus, some doubted.
Then Jesus came and spoke to them. Presumably, even to the doubters. We know that He addressed at least one man’s doubts (Thomas). It was not: ‘Okay, you doubters, stand over here while I talk to the righteous, real disciples…’ No! Jesus came and said to them:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
If it was difficult to believe then, we need not be surprised when we doubt. Doubt does not mean we cannot believe. We still need to go to Jesus, worship him, listen to him. If Thomas had stayed away because of doubt, he would not have heard Jesus say “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (john 20:29)
It was the eleven disciples who went, no doubt at various stages of belief, faith and doubt, but they went together. I think this is part of what it means to be the church. We gather, we see Jesus, we worship, and we hear Jesus. Then we go and do what he tells us to do.