But then you look at the actual value of these ministries and you see they are worth far more than pennies. The actual value is measured in lives touched, in stomachs filled, in safe nights spent in from the cold, in young people finding a place for God in their lives, in the home-bound receiving caring visits, in opportunities for life-long learning…the list goes on and on.
When we look in that mirror and see the saint…or the saint-to-be…we can be drawn closer to the person God longs for us to be. Jesus shows us the way to that personhood and while we may never reach a totally satisfying place in our saintly journey, the important thing is to be on that journey with Jesus, with the body of Christ…becoming one part of the body that indeed contributes to the whole of God’s work among us.
As you might ponder your deepest heart’s desire, I hope you will remember the Psalmist words that God will give you the desires of your heart. And that has nothing to do with money or success or even happiness.
What ways can you think of where you can make a difference for our children? Pray about this. Ask God to lead you in a direction that helps build a better life for kids tomorrow as well as today. Let God guide your feet, your hands, and your heart. And if you do feel called, respond.
In other words, stay rooted in faith. And be aware when our faith waivers and needs the bolstering of prayer or study or some other spiritual discipline. Apply ourselves to what we value most, which for people of faith is that God loves us beyond our wildest imaginations. Then, we use that love to live out our lives with mercy, justice, and peace. Stay rooted in faith.
There are many today who disparage religion, especially Christianity. Many Christians, it seems as well, are embarrassed by the claims of our faith tradition. These “Oh No” attitudes are enhanced by a lack of understanding mixed with a misplaced sense of knowing.
The story of the Bible and especially of Jesus is to free people from oppression, from self-hatred, from the pain of exclusion, from human-made laws and doctrines that hurt more than they help. The story of faith is for each of us to return from exile. This represents immense change from our normal, selfish concerns and even the distaste some of us feel when we look in the mirror.