Donna and I just returned from a fast trip to Missouri and Tennessee to see our mothers. We give thanks for them, for our siblings who live near them, and for the joy of being with them. Five days and 1,070 miles later, we walked back into our house about 5:30 pm Saturday.
Today is too full of activities. There is church, of course. But before church begins, I have an appointment with one of our wonderful college students who wants to interview her pastor. After church, I head immediately to a local funeral home to meet with family and conduct a funeral. While I normally meet with the family before the day of the funeral, that was not possible in this case. Donna will be headed in another direction to participate with our choir in a community talent showcase. Late in the afternoon, we will both show up back at the house. Whew!!
It’s days like today that remind me how important it is to know why we do what we do. If I had my druthers, the day would not be so filled up. After all, isn’t Sunday (Sabbath for Christians) supposed to be a day of rest? I could have avoided some of today’s events. I didn’t have to meet with the college student. She would have understood. I didn’t even have to do today’s funeral. The deceased is not a member of our church. So, why do it all?
I’ll do these things because I can and because it is a way of being the presence of Christ to those who need part of my time and part of me today. I’ll do it because I’ve already invested 18 years in the college student and today’s hour is but an extension of that relationship. I’ll do it because the deceased wrote my name down as a preacher whom he wanted to assist his pastor. (As it turns out, I will be standing in for his pastor who is out of state.) I’ll do it because the deceased was a patient at the local nursing home where I serve as chaplain and his wife remains a patient there.
I’ll do it because Jesus came among us as the presence of God, revealing to us that which we would never have known had he not come. I’ll do it because unto the least of these (me chief of the least) Jesus extended presence, love, and grace, and because he bids me do the same.
Like Jesus (even more so), I will need some rest. I can’t be present to all people all the time. As it did for Jesus, time for rest will come.
Because Jesus is who Jesus is, we do in his name what we can for others when doors open.
It is the knowing of the Truth that precedes and leads to the doing of what we do in Jesus’ name. Knowing the truth always comes first.