Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Simple Invitation

Last Friday I was Commissioned as a Provisional Elder in the United Methodist (I will save the explanation of the ordination process in the United Methodist Church for another post J). During the worship service, the Bishop laid his hands on each of us being commissioned and prayed for the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon us as we proclaim the Good News. Well this is a lot of names to remember and keep straight during a service so we help the Bishop out with a little card that has our name on it. This was my one thing to remember, my card. I had it at my seat but when I heard them call my name, do you think I remembered the card? No. So I’m standing up there and wondering what I am going to do and I see Rev. Bob Atkins standing there and start doing a game of charades, trying to get him to give me a piece of paper and then an appropriate writing object. He played the game well and soon I had my name written on a piece of paper for the Bishop. All was well. After the service, there was a reception and I got a chance to see Rev. Atkins and thanked him and before I knew it tears started to fall as I shared with him how he had made a difference in my life, not the paper (though that did help!) but because he was the pastor who was at Christ United Methodist Church when I first visited. I had a friend that simply invited me to youth group back in 1992. I went on to share with him that one of those first youth group meetings he came into the youth room and told us a story, I can’t tell you what it was. All I know is that he tied in a faith message with the song “The Rose.” I loved that Bette Midler song but had only known to separate “secular” from “sacred.”  But in that story and singing that song at youth group, I was taught how to combine faith and everyday life; how God works through the ordinary as well as the extraordinary; through those things that have been deemed secular as well as those deemed sacred. Rev. Atkins moved to another church just a few short months later and we never got a chance to know each other more but he made an imprint on my life. I can still remember my heart being stirred as I sat there on the floor of the youth room listening as he spoke.  He was there as my heart was being turned towards the message God was trying to share with me and then he was there as God was confirming my call to ministry: funny how God works.
 All this to say that you never know when you are going to make a kingdom difference in another’s life. A simple invitation to a youth group; a simple story; a simple smile; a simple offer to help another…all of these things can touch someone’s heart in a way you never could have imagined. God may use it to transform another’s life. I hope you will live into the extravagant simplicity that God has prepared for you.
Couldn’t help but share the song…

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