Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have heard it from the lips of our Governor, celebrities, and nurses in television and radio ads. We have seen it on freeway overpasses and on billboards. The phrase, relating to combatting the virus, is: “We’re in this together.” (As an aside, it is interesting to me that, “We’re in this together,” would used as a motto around one of the most divisive issues our country has ever seen, but that is for another blog by another author.)
May I suggest one place where I know for sure that we REALLY ARE all in this together? That would be the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of us have a role to play in moving the church forward. Some of us have the honor of serving the Lord as our vocation, and that is a great privilege. There is a popular misconception in some churches, not Madison, that there are those of us in vocational ministry that do most of the meaningful ministry, and then there is everybody else. I wonder if the picture above that I snapped in the parking lot of a local church not far from here can tend to reinforce that notion. My concern would be that prime parking places for the pastor and his wife (which you will not find at Madison) can communicate that the pastor and wife are somehow more significant in the ministry that others. Diane and I are no more important in our service than any other member of the congregation. We are in this together.
As we said Sunday, “If your gift is helping, then help. If it is writing, then write. If it is singing, then sing. If your gift is cooking, giving, building, teaching, serving or leading – would you please cook, give, build, teach, serve and lead in the strength of the Lord and with everything you have? Perhaps you are called to demonstrate kindness, provide a listening ear, or be a shoulder to cry on. Perform that vital service in the name of Jesus and be glad that he has called you to do it. We are in this together, and it will require all of us to move the Lord’s great work forward.
God’s intention is clear. It is expressed in Ephesians 4:11-13:
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature; attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”