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Crazy Little Thing Called Love

2October2012

If you ask any pastor you know, they will say that being a pastor is an honor and a privilege. At its best moments it is knowing that God has called one to a particular job in the kingdom, to teach, care and nurture, empower and encourage believers to follow their God given call in life. At its worst it is feeling like the hired help.  There is a big difference between those two poles and every pastor has to navigate through them on a regular basis. There is however, one thing that a congregation can not “hire” a pastor to do (hear clearly that I do not think pastors are hired, they are called by the Spirit to the place where God needs them to serve and to a people God matches them with for known and unknown reasons). This one thing is love. No one can pay you to love. Remember that Bonnie Raitt song that goes, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t. You can make your heart feel something it won’t.”

Now I cannot speak for all pastors but I can speak for the ones that I am closest to. . . they/we/I love the people we serve. Sometimes it is absolutely overwhelming. Sometimes it hurts like crazy, for instance when a person gets sick or when a beloved disciple is making that final leg of this earthly journey. We are human too, no one pays us to love the way we love, this comes solely from the source of love itself- Christ! Frankly we aren’t capable of this kind of love on our own but it is the Spirit that lives within us that makes itself known to the world in love. It’s the same for all Christians. Love comes from God, anyone who loves knows God and is a conduit (willing or otherwise) of God’s abundant, overflowing, spilling out all over the place LOVE.

It makes us do crazy things, this love. Like when a year ago I shaved the head of a dear and precious woman who had begun chemotherapy and her hair was falling out in clumps. That moment will be a pinnacle moment for me for the rest of my life. I love her. . . God loves her. . . she loves me enough to let me serve her in that way. That’s what I mean by “privileged.”

Our Sweet Stella!

Disciples, you are privileged too. God is putting you in places right now where only you can serve the way he wants you to. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t run from it. Embrace it, with all of its emotion, with all of its overwhelmingness, be present in the moment that God has placed you in as his faithful servant. You may not recognize it at this moment but believe me, it is happening! You will understand later, or maybe you won’t, but either way God is working through you because our God is an incarnational God- he meets us right where we are, in Christ, loving, sacrificing, touching, holding, crying, weeping until snot is everywhere and there are no kleenex handy! Fully present, unwavering, grace soaked presence.

So love. No one can make you love them, but recognize what is happening inside of you as you continue your journey with Jesus. Love pours out of you on the lost, the confused, the hurt, the destitute, the strong and the weak. It is a privilege. Amen.

ACL@CCD

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