When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
~ Matthew 9:36-38
This morning I was thinking about the small group of women that my great grandmother often was a part of in her little church of Browns Wonder United Church of Christ off Elizaville Road near Lebanon, Indiana.
For me, these women were the source of love, but also, the source of some fantastic food! While I would expect the hugs, pinches, and comments of "how you have grown," there were so many other things that I looked forward to.
The church no longer stands there today. The site is a cemetery, filled with the graves with many of those women who loved me and were compassionate to one another.
It was decided to tear the building down after a number of the members had passed away, and because of the location of the building being out in the country. To this day, I still expect to turn the corner and see the small building sitting at the top, like a light on a hill.
Sometimes faith communities simply fade away. I have learned over the years that we are truly Ecclesiastical people, who experience the end of a chapter and begin new ones all the time.
It is the same with churches and faith communities. Even Matthew shares of the struggle when he writes, "the harvest is great but the workers are few."
While we all have been taught that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, God's presence on earth changes with each generation. So often today we hear people talk of the great churches of the past, or of faithful saints that are no longer with us. God is not disappearing, it comes back to us.
Through dark ages, and ages where the light of God's people has been dim, but we must remember that we are the bearers of the light of Christ... always!
We are called to serve in a time when it is easy to get caught up in other things. Busy lives, busy schedules, busy, busy, busy...
One thing I learned from those ladies years ago, many of whom were widowed and caring for farms that were still operating, they still took time to give thanks, and to serve God.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear God, thank You for faithful communities that continue to find ways to share Your love with others. Help me to discover ways that I may serve You as well. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.