Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Monday Morning

I know many Pastors take Monday as their day off. I suppose there is some logic in it -- given the busy weekends that are part of the schedule of most clergy. Mondays are not my favorite days in general. Based on half a century of experience, it is my considered opinion that the end of the world will occur on a Monday, sometime about mid-day, when despair takes over and you have an idea how the whole week will be going.

I do not take Mondays off -- I prefer to face the music when it comes rather than post-pone it all by 24 hours. I am not sure whether that makes me a coward, a hero, or a fool. You can choose.

On Mondays Pastors reflect upon all the things that were whispered to them as people passed by the door shaking hands after the Sunday liturgy. "Did you know..." or "Did you hear..." or "I hate to be the one to tell you this but..." It sometimes seems overwhelming. But I am glad to hear of it all -- not the bad news -- but that God's people tell me what is going on in their lives and what burdens they bear in their hearts. It is a sign of their trust in their Pastor that they tell me these things. It is also a sign of confidence that with prayer and the labor of God's people, some of these burdens may, indeed, be lifted.

Administrative details seem to dominate Monday's agenda but my heart is back at the door where people speak in hushed tones of the family members hospitalized or the loved ones who have gone on to be with the Lord or family struggles or of impending moves or of jobs that disappeared or of children going through trials... My heart is back at the door because that is where I identify most as a Pastor -- being with people in their troubles and trials and being with them in the place where we are powerfully reminded, "I am with you," says the Lord.

Most folks do not expect me to fix the trouble or make it go away. They are generally willing to suffer the burdens of life in this world but they do not want to be alone. So they invite me into their hurts, wounds, pains, and sorrows. Even as they invite the Lord into these by their prayers. On the whole it is a most salutary thing -- to ask the Lord to stand with you when you find it hardest to stand at all... to ask your Pastor to stand with you as well...

I willingly admit I am no miracle worker. But, if invited, I will always stand with God's people in their pains and losses. On Monday morning my prayers go up to His throne of grace on their behalf -- for things I know and for causes and concerns not yet fully known to me. Sometimes all it takes is the look on a member's face for me to know. Pray for him or her today.

The administrative details that dominate Monday morning are part of the necessary burdens of the office of Pastor but the remembrances of those little whispers shared at the door -- well that is part of the delight of the office -- I join you in standing before the Lord in whom we have grace sufficient for all of life's day and even the whole week.

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