As I’m recovering from my double foot injury (yikes!) I’ve been reminded of how much a pastor needs a congregation. Before becoming a pastor I don’t know that I thought much about the pastor needing the congregation beyond our being nice to him or her. Now, as a pastor my tendency is to evaluate myself on whether or not I’m meeting the needs of the congregation, on my “performance,” not on whether or not the congregation is meeting my needs.
But, in these days of elevating, icing, and trying to hobble around on two broken feet God’s refreshing in me how very much a pastor needs a congregation. Needs a congregations care, prayers and love. As I’m healing I’m finding God not only healing my feet, but bringing healing to what amounts to a reluctance to receive, and it’s you, this congregation’s love & care that are ministering to me, teaching me a good lesson on receiving in rich abundance.
And, for you I’m immensely grateful. Your notes, cards, messages of care, and warm embraces are all such gifts of love. Thank you! Thank you!
As you help me relax into this lesson of receiving I’m awash with gratitude to be part of the Body of Christ. I’m experiencing the joy of being part of the the Spirit’s life & work in this congregation. The reality of the Spirit of God indwelling each & every one of us; moving us into one anothers lives, binding our hearts together in love & unity is capturing my full attention. The reality that we receive the Spirit and share the Spirit of God with each other is what I’m experiencing with you and it’s truly a beautiful thing!
It’s a beautifully awe-inspiring thing and we all are part of it! We all are both giving & receiving. We receive from God, and from each other. We give to God and to each other. In a world that holds individuality, and independence as the high-est values the Body of Christ values very different things: weakness, vulnerability, dependence and inter-dependence.
It’s probably easier to acknowledge that we need God; that we need to take refuge in the “shadow of the Almighty” and that Christ is our “strength in our time of weakness.” It can be harder to accept our need for each other. But, in fact we do need each other. Christ purposefully made us into a community of believers, purposefully dependent not only on him, but on each other. We are meant to live a life of inter-dependence. To be strong for one another as needs arise, but also to be willing to receive in our times of need.
It’s humbling to need, to have to receive. But, it’s also a real gift to lean into the reality of our need not only for God but for one another. Because what we find is that it’s in both the giving & the receiving that the Spirit of God is alive & well; that the Spirit moves in powerful & healing ways in both the giving & receiving.
It’s a love filled lesson I’m learning even now and I thank you for being part of it! Thank you for graciously giving to me in my time of need. As I receive what you so generously share with me not only am I comforted and loved, but at the same time the Spirit is shaping me more into the pastor God has called me to be...one who can both give and receive.
Gratefully serving our Lord together with you,