Worship with Us This Sunday - 10:15 a.m.
Here is Pastor Todd's weekly email about our collective "Thank you" to Bob Johnson.
Time. It can get away from you. Sometimes we cannot find enough of it. Occasionally we have too much on our hands.
Jesus remarked to the disciples on one occasion he must be busy about his work while it was day – while the time was good. My friend Ed Stetzer, President of Lifeway Research, recently commented, "One of the greatest sins in the church is we have made it ok to sit and do nothing and call yourself a Christ-follower." Much of what Jesus pointed toward and Ed noted pointedly concerns what we do with our time.
It is at this point one expects a pastor to suggest some are not spending enough time in church. Certainly I believe we have missed the point of "gathering." Rather than to get noticed for being in attendance, the writer of Hebrews suggested the "assembling" together is for mutual encouragement to love and good deeds. No one could argue this can be done "outside" of church. The question is never "can it", the issue to ask, "is it." Too often we have asked the question of necessity rather than the question of action. But, really that is not the point of considering what we do with our time.
You see, I think we will be scrutinized more for what we do "away" from church. Jesus' ministry was not "in" the Temple. Ed's point is not about volunteering for the next announced vacancy in the organizational chart. No, the matter is really about what are you doing with the time you have living in the reality of the Kingdom of God. Has your imagination caught hold of the mission of God in the world? Carrying on the work of Jesus may be done just as Jesus did it. Not with special nights dedicated to service, but with a life lived in service to those around them.
I read a quote from a book sitting in my "to read" stack. One of my favorite authors, Dallas Willard, writes about "spiritual knowledge." He writes,
You can't succeed in being ethical in act or character unless you have abandoned having your way, fulfilling your own desires, as the rule of your life (italics his). That is the ethical meaning of love in real life as taught and practiced by Jesus.
What we do with our time in loving others requires our attention to others. You may easily see how this faces its biggest obstacle – us.
Thinking about time, our lives, and how we love was prompted by thinking about celebrating the time Bob Johnson has given to serving others in the Kingdom of God. Bob would not want to be construed as some "superhero." He would likely not want to be pointed out in a crowd. Instead, he would be content to "do" and be observed as a "part" rather than the whole.
Some of you may not know but Bob has been diagnosed with onset Alzheimer's. Bob is very open about this. He knows what may come. He may sense it surely will come. Some of our folks have watched Bob work around our building, know of his participation with mission builder groups, been a part of the Sunday School class he has taught, shared in helpful conversations in a Men's Ministry meeting, or worked alongside him in one of many projects here on The Hill. Putting all of that together led them to suggest we take an opportunity to honor Bob for his faithfulness before a time when he may not know how thankful we are.
This Sunday we will share worship and a meal following. Bob will be our honored guest. We will show a video just before our meal and then a longer slide show while we are sharing the meal together. We will have a basket in the event you would like to offer a card with your thoughts, a special memory, or a word of thanks for his faithfulness to God. I am glad we can celebrate the time God gives us and the ways people faithfully give their lives for others.