Today will be a study in contrasts. This morning I will go to a cemetery to conduct the burial service for a man who has been a husband, father, brother and friend to a number of people. This afternoon I will officiate at the wedding of a couple of wonderful people in our church. Obviously, the first occasion will be one of real sadness. The second occasion will be one of great joy. This is one of the things that I find so fascinating about the ministry. I have literally been at the hospital standing beside the bed of a person as they take their last breath on this earth. Then, moments later I have walked out of that room and gone to another part of the hospital to visit a couple that have just been blessed with a new baby. There are not many occupations where you get to be with people at such polar extremes of emotion and experience. I’m thankful for God’s grace that allows me to be in the ministry. An old preacher I once knew, now at home with the Lord, used to say: “If I had a hundred lives to live – it would be in the ministry every time.” Me too.
by Paul Barnes