Monday, November 20, 2006

participation

Last evening we heard Gary and Sue Gilmore talk about their work in Chile as a kind of house parents of a girls' home to help them over (for the most part) abuse. They had found this work after retirement, and use their gifts to share God's love in deed and word to these girls. It is a blessing to hear them.

God is at work in the world. And he uses people in his work. But for us to be used means we must be willing to participate. In the case of the Gilmores, this surely started well before they retired. When we look at the Christians in the early church, reading in Acts, and in the letters, we find a church that was active in participating in God's work in the world.

What does this participation look like? It means, in faith stepping out and offering our contribution, meager as it may seem, to the whole. And it means drawing from and being blessed by the participation of others around us.

Partipation involves vision. Vision from God of his kingdom come in Jesus. And what that kingdom is all about. Then we are about God's work of the kingdom, helping others to enter into it, and seeking to share with all the blessings of the kingdom made available to all through Christ.

One of the biggest hurdles we must get over is the idea that what we have to give in participating is insignificant or inferior. Like the boy who shared his five loaves and two fishes to the Lord, we too need to share what we have and are. Knowing that the Lord can multiply it for a multitude. But our part is to hear and obey, not to be successful or look good in the world's eyes.

Participation. Together. With humility. And gratitude. It's underrated. But that's what the kingdom work of God is all about. Let's be a part of that, today.

What keeps us from participating in God's kingdom work in Jesus? What have you witnessed in your own participation in this work, as well as from the participation of others?

4 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, I have many little fishes and loaves! And I know that God has chosen and will choose to use them differently, with different "crowds" over the various seasons of my life.

What a blessing about this retired couple... thanks for sharing about them.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L.,

Yes, thanks. It does seem like what we have is little, and maybe it is. But it's from God, no less. And is blessed and used by him, as we give it back to him, for his glory.

Yes, they're a blessing.

Andy Blanks said...

What keeps me from participating? Schedule. Laziness. Apathy. But also fear and uncertainty.

When I do participate, I find that I see God differently, almost like another layer of an onion peeled back. He reveals more of Himself to me and the results are wonderful.

Ted Gossard said...

Andy,

Your point is a good and important one. There are a number of reasons that do make it harder for us to participate. And easy for us to just sit back.

But the rewards are well worth working through those issues and excuses, to make participation a way of life, as you point out.

Thanks.