When I first meet with people, I am often asked what a typical day in the life of a minister is like. After chuckling, I reply that there is no typical day. Things need to always be fluid and flexible. Nothing is ever set in stone … not even worship.
Last week, my sister Effie was telling me about how someone arrived on the doorstep of the church she serves. It was Sunday morning and a few minutes before worship. The young man was in a terrible state. He was homeless and had walked twelve miles from a detention center to the church. A complication was that he was an immigrant, with very little spoken English and was struggling with his mental health because he had not been able to get his medication.
With a few hand signals to the leadership of her church, Effie sat with this young man who she learned was from Columbia. After phoning a parishioner who was a native Spanish speaker, Effie was able to help him out of the cold and into a safe, welcoming place. All of this occurred as worship was happening. Instead of a sermon, her congregation had an impromptu hymn sing, readings and prayers. What a wonderful witness of a community working and worshiping together, helping and praying for the stranger in their midst.
As I’ve been reflecting on the ever-changing reality of life, I’m more aware of being called in all times and all places to share the good news of God’s love, especially when there is no plan. I’m even more aware of how important it is to remember that worship can happen with or without the ordained person, on Sunday or any other day of the week, in the church building or on the train or in the office or on the playground. Because God is always with us, we can respond (even when we don’t know how or can’t speak the language or feel totally incompetent) with love for anyone and anything that comes our way.
In our lives of faith, just like in the vocation of ministry, there is no typical day. Thanks be to God.
See you in church,