Nowadays when it comes to matters of faith, I no longer believe in coincidences. Miracles and signs are present today as they were some 2000 years ago, we only need to open our hearts to be able to see God’s loving hand at work.
Last night after our family prayer session, my wife and son Seth, mentioned to me how awkward it felt for them to receive the Eucharist from me. It just so happened that on Sunday I was positioned towards serving the far right hand side of the Church, in which they were seated. And so they had little choice but to receive the Eucharist from me. I explained to them that nothing should ever distract them from the fact that they are receiving Christ – body,blood,soul and divinity. And it should not matter whether they are receiving Him from a priest,deacon,bishop or even an extraordinary minister of communion such as me. ( i.e. Even from a family member )
I went on to say that being in the EMC ministry did not make me extra special, holy or better than anyone else. In fact the term extraordinary simply meant Super Ordinary! The ordinary ministers of communion are the priests,deacons and bishops. We on the other hand are just acolytes that take a little more effort to dress in our Sunday best and are given the opportunity to share Jesus with our fellow sisters and brothers in Him.
Like all who serve in the various Church Ministries, we too must do our very best in the vocation or service we were called to do all for the Glory of God our Father. So if I am in the Choir then I should sing my best at all times, were I a Lector then I should do my very best in proclaiming the Word making every effort to ensure that my diction, timing, pronunciation etc. are correct. As an EMC I have to be reverent at all times even in the way I present the body of Christ. I have an added responsibility of living as a true disciple of Christ; that is to say, not just in Church but at home and at work. Yes I know…! In actual fact all the members of all the various ministries (the whole church community) should all strive to live as true disciples of Christ especially the leaders. But what I am merely pointing out is that as an EMC you are highly visible to ALL, especially when you have to go up to the sanctuary and then later serve the congregation, hence begs the question how can you then behave badly in public and still serve?
All of us in the various Ministries should never ever forget, that we serve God and His people and it is never Our Ministry but God’s! In Holy Communion our ‘I’s’ are transformed to ‘We’ so it does not matter how much we do individually, what matters is how much we do it for God and His kingdom.
And so it was amazing to me that just after saying all this last evening, this morning’s Gospel was about how certain disciples of Christ had wanted positions and Jesus saying to them at the end, that whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so the son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matt 20:20-28
A few days ago I was troubled, when I took it upon myself to try and point out certain things to a brother which I felt was doing or saying things which was contrary to Church teaching, even if he had the best of intentions. Needless to say that the exchange direct and indirectly did not go well. It ended with us praying for one another’s soul. So I prayed very hard for an answer, I wanted to know if I was personally being self-righteous, even though a few others had shared similar sentiments about this brother before, though not at length. And I was led to this passage in Scripture :
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
So my sisters and brothers in Christ, feel free to admonish me if I am doing or saying anything contrary to Christ’s teaching, so that I may grow in humility and love.