Here I Am Lord, Send Me

NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

Over the years, Covenant has been blessed to have some wonderful staff personnel. I know how impossible it is for a Pastor to serve a church like Covenant without dedicated competent staff. We recently added to the staff with five new Deacons and will commission them this Sunday also. So this coming Sunday we will pause to recognize and give appreciation for all of our staff that serve Covenant. These gifted and loyal people have discovered that the generosity of giving themselves in Christ’s service really is the secret to joy and a life of significance. In my readings this week, I came across this story:

There is an old rabbinic parable about a farmer that had two sons. As soon as they were old enough to walk, he took them to the fields and he taught them everything that he knew about growing crops and raising animals. When he got too old to work, the two boys took over the chores of the farm and when the father died, they had found their working together so meaningful that they decided to keep their partnership. So each brother contributed what he could and during every harvest season, they would divide equally what they had corporately produced. Across the years the elder brother never married, stayed an old bachelor. The younger brother did marry and had eight wonderful children. Some years later when they were having a wonderful harvest, the old bachelor brother thought to himself one night, “My brother has ten mouths to feed. I only have one. He really needs more of his harvest than I do, but I know he is much too fair to renegotiate. I know what I’ll do. In the dead of the night when he is already asleep, I’ll take some of what I have put in my barn and I’ll slip it over into his barn to help him feed his children.”

At the very time he was thinking down that line, the younger brother was thinking to himself, “God has given me these wonderful children. My brother hasn’t been so fortunate. He really needs more of this harvest for his old age than I do, but I know him. He’s much too fair. He’ll never renegotiate. I know what I’ll do. In the dead of the night when he’s asleep, I’ll take some of what I’ve put in my barn and slip it over into his barn.” And so one night when the moon was full, as you may have already anticipated, those two brothers came face to face, each on a mission of generosity. The old rabbi said that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but a gentle rain began to fall. He ask the question: You know what it was? He answered by saying, “It was God weeping for joy because two of his children had gotten the point. Two of his children had come to realize that generosity is the deepest characteristic of the holy and because we are made in God’s image, our being generous is the secret to our joy as well. Life is not fair, thank God! It’s not fair because it’s rooted in grace.”

As I read that story this week, I smiled and rejoiced that Covenant is blessed with a staff that gets the point. Their generosity of service to God through Covenant is the secret of joy and a life of significance.

Join us in worship this Sunday as we pause to recognize our wonderful staff at Covenant and commission five new deacons. I will be preaching a sermon called “Here I am Lord, Send Me” based on the scriptures from Isaiah 6:1 & 8 and Matthew 20:1-16.

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