Pastor’s Message - Pentecost 5

 “Come to me, all you who are weary . . . and I will give you rest . . . 

My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

- Matthew 11:28, 30

It may be summer, but St. John’s is not on vacation. After a busy spring, where are disciples to get strength and energy for ministry? Today’s Good News from Matthew gives us the answer: We go to Jesus, who invites and welcomes each of us. I picture Jesus giving this invitation with a broad smile on his face, not looking at his watch (a digital sundial, of course,) eyes sparkling with the joy of just being with us. Jesus is the very picture of hospitality. “Come to me,” he says. 

I remember the congregation in which I grew up in Fayetteville, NC. Even at six years old, I thought of the church as belonging to me; not me exclusively, but belonging to me as much as any of the grown-ups. My pews. My classrooms. My hymn books. My meetings, committees, food pantry, activities – all mine (again, not exclusively.) I wouldn’t have known to phrase it this way, but it was “my” ministry. What a gift! But what a responsibility too. Overflowing trashcan in the restroom? I should empty that. Stranger looking for the pastor? I need to escort him to the office. Grass a bit too high? Where’s that lawn mower? A committee without a leader? Time to step up. No one’s here to read lessons? Here I am, Lord! 

The church belongs to Jesus, and in a very real sense it belongs to each of us too, each of us together. Be the person who stands like Jesus with a broad smile inviting and welcoming others. Be the one who, like Jesus, offers yourself to others. Know that behind you stands Jesus himself, smiling, delighted to be there. Really. 

Equipped for discipleship + 

Pastor Pam