Wednesday, October 29, 2014

given

And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to give to set before the people. (Mark 6:41)

Ultimately, we are taken, blessed, and broken in order to be given.  Thus, we have to realize that this life is not about us, it is about God and his Kingdom.  When we really understand that, then all of the other pieces somehow begin to fall into place.  Christ is given to and for us, so that we might be given to him, and then to others. (Mark 12:29-31) 


The more I think about the meaning of living and acting in the name of Jesus, the more I realize that what I have to offer others is not my intelligence, skill, power, influence, or connections, but my own human brokenness through which the love of God can manifest itself.  The celebrant in Leonard Bernstein's Mass says: "Glass shines brighter when it's broken...I never noticed that."  This, to me, is what ministry and mission are all about.  Ministry is entering with our human brokenness into communion with others and speaking a word of hope.  This hope is not based on any power to solve the problems of those with whom we live, but on the love of God, which becomes visible when we let go of our fears of being out of control and enter into His presence in shared confession of weakness.
     The great paradox of ministry, therefore, is that we minister above all with our weakness, a weakness that invites us to receive from those to whom we go.  The more in touch we are with our own need for healing and salvation, the more open we are to receive in gratitude what others have to offer us. (Gracias! by Henri J.M. Nouwen)

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