• Steven Marsh

Stepping Up: a Reflection on Psalm 71, Isaiah 65:1-9, Revelation 3:1-6, and John 6:1-14

In my line of work, what I am about and do is dependent on volunteers. Yes, the church, on the whole, is dependent upon volunteers to make things happen. In many ways that is how it should be. Any time a congregation’s ministry is solely staff led, the buy-in from congregants is minimal and to be honest, the church becomes something other. But, I’ve digressed from the point.

Given the volunteer nature of the church, it is increasingly difficult to have individuals just step up out of the blue and want to serve. Yes, there is the rare occurrence, but…

I must admit that because that volunteer just stepping up is so rare that often I am skeptical when it happens. Really? I think to myself.

But the psalmist and the prophet Isaiah challenge me not to overanalyze and let the person run with whatever they desire to step up to. Perhaps encouragement and resourcing will see some results from and joy in the individual stepping up to serve. Both the psalm and Isaiah texts are filled with “cries” for rescue and salvation with an underlying foundation of great hope.

Our works as followers of Jesus must have heart. That is where the language of volunteerism ends. We are to be servant leaders. That means our works are coming from a sense of call…from somewhere or from someone which/who is greater than we.

How else do the disciples really work at feeding the thousands with so few fish and loaves of bread? They stepped up with believing hope. And the miracle occurred. All Jesus wanted was for the disciples to believe.

What are you facing today? Are you wondering where the money will come from to pay the bill? Or will the stewardship campaign come up with what the budget needs? Are we doing the ministries that matter the most? And is human really as depraved as the bible indicates.

Folk, it is time to step up! The world needs to see followers of Jesus, meeting the real needs of real people who live in a real world.

What do you say? Let’s step up and believe God to do the work through our works.

Scripture readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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