“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:9-10).
Those of you who read this column regularly may be expecting a meditation on Psalm 113. We will get there. But today, something different.
Here are some reflections began while sitting in the pew at the Choirfest on Good Friday. It was delightful for me to sit and allow the music to wash over me without my brain preparing for the next part of the service.
I reflected on all the people that had given their time and effort to prepare the festival and those now leading. I thought of those who were working behind the scenes making everything run smoothly so us pew-sitters could worship without interruption.
Then I thought, “This happens every time we worship together.” There are those who help prepare the services, those who help lead the services, those who tweak the technology for each service so that it is nearly flawless.
There are those who take care of children in the nursery, those who lead the Sunday School, those who provide refreshments, the early birds who serve as greeters and ushers.
And so, today I use this column to say thank you to all these volunteers. It seems important that we all understand that most of what takes place in this congregation takes place because of volunteers.
And so here is as loud a thank you as a write up can give to all our volunteers. Further, I got to thinking that sometimes volunteering must be difficult. After all, its all about people and people tend to be well, difficult at times. And so I invite all volunteers to consider their efforts in light what Peter writes.
At first I was going to just include verse 10. But they I came across an article about the church nursery which included this paragraph:
“In our congregation (not ours), parents with nursery-age children run the nursery, with a handful of other volunteers from the church filling in the extra slots each week…I hold a firm conviction that those of us who don’t have small children should be serving in the nursery. This is not only because it gives parents of young children time to worship, but it’s also where we learn kids names, get to know their personalities, and fulfill our baptismal promises by showing them the love of Christ.”
(Believe me, I have applied to volunteer in the nursery, but I keep getting rejected).
I realize this may induce guilt in some. Sorry about that. What I really want to emphasize is the spiritual value which can be discovered in the nursery. This is true of all volunteering. Consider it “practising hospitality.” And see what God will do with it.
Your Friend & God’s Friend,
1 Peter 4:9-10
1 Peter 4
1 Corinthians 12