At the beginning of October, I shared what was supposed to be a joke regarding Someone Else's death. Based on the response, I believe many missed the humor in the joke! For some others, maybe they were thinking, "This seems a little too weird." If that is the case, then obviously, we are making progress. I found the "joke" online from a website with other Christian jokes. Some of our neighbors might not have been here that Sunday. So, let me share the obituary of Someone Else again.
Someone’s passing creates a vacancy that will be difficult to fill. Else has been with us for many years, and for everyone of those years, Someone did far more than an average person’s share of the work. Whenever there was a job to do, a class to teach, or a meeting to attend, one name was on everyone’s list, “Let Someone Else do it.” Whenever leadership was mentioned, this wonderful person was looked to for inspiration and results: “Someone Else can work with that group.” It was common knowledge that Someone Else was among the most liberal givers in our church. Everyone assumed Someone Else would make up the difference whenever there was a financial need. Someone Else was a wonderful person, sometimes appearing superhuman. Were the truth known, everybody expected too much of Someone Else. Now Someone Else is gone! We wonder what we are going to do. Someone Else left an excellent example to follow, but who will follow it? Who is going to do the things Someone Else did? When you are asked to help this year, remember – we can’t depend on Someone Else anymore.
What is it about volunteering that makes it so challenging? I understand that we all have busy lives, but are we so busy that we cannot serve our neighbors and God? Each year I must go before the District Committee on Ministry, and there is usually an assignment to go with our interview. This year, I had to write a paper on Character and Call speaking to leading our congregation in loving service to humankind. "The Christian as Minister" is a book for people to help explore God's call to each of us. I used the book's statement that "The heart of Christian ministry is to share Christ's love in the world." Another line I did not include says, "If Christians are not faithful in ministry, the church will lose its impact on the world." These are a couple of powerful statements relating to volunteering and carrying out our ministry here at Marble Memorial United Methodist Church.
As a church, we have a lot of beautiful things going on to be thankful for here as of late. We started our monthly Free Community Dinner in October and look forward to the next one. There was a Fall Carnival where most attendees were from outside our church family. The number of children on a Sunday morning has increased, and it is a joy to hear them throughout the church. Our Sunday morning worship is also drawing more new faces into the church. I applaud and thank those who have been a part of making these things happen. As we continue to grow and offer more at the church, it will take more hands to make our work easier. Someone Else is not here anymore, and we need everyone to be in loving service with us.
We are entering a time of year when we tend to focus on being thankful. I thank God daily for being a part of this neighborhood; I hope you do, too. Remember, God calls each one of us to serve. Will you answer the call whenever needed? To help me not to forget, I have a tattoo on my left arm that says, "Till the day I die." This tattoo reminds me to continue to be in ministry in any way possible until I can no longer do it. Let me leave all my neighbors with a final thought for today. Proverbs 3:27 (NIV) says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”
Peace be with you. Pastor Matt
Pastor Matt West