Practicing Christian

My journey to getting it right….

Useful to the Master–POP Reflection

on January 25, 2012

The following musings are based on my Portals of Prayer devotion for to Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Associated readings are 2 Timothy 2:20-22 and Psalm 119:89-104

My devotion reading today focused on making ourselves ready to do good work for the kingdom of God. The vessel comparison was illustrated through the types of dishes we use–the company or holiday china versus the plain, everyday earthenware, the crystal butter dish versus the bacon drippings can, the Waterford crystal goblet versus the chipped jelly jar. It further paralleled the appearances of the vessels with Timothy’s early experiences as a pastor–how the people may have looked down on–or even ignored–the young, inexperienced, “common” young man as opposed to revering him and holding him in esteem like a wiser, “shinier” church leader.

It made me think about the readings on a couple of different levels–the role of appearances and our perceptions of importance or usefulness. Many have looked at a sharply dressed, well-spoken, dynamic preacher and given their full and undivided attention, yet will walk past and ignore the rumpled street preacher delivering the same message. As much as we shouldn’t, we as Christians DO tend to judge a book by its cover–or judge a gift by its shiny wrapping–when it comes to what and who we’ll believe. I’ll admit to leaning toward pastors who can keep me engaged in their message, but I’d like to think that it’s the lyrics and not the melody of the Song that sticks with me. On the point of usefulness, the part [of 2 Timothy 2:21] that speaks about cleansing from common use to be set aside for special purposes made me think of a skit The King’s Players (a performing arts group from one of the Concordia University campuses) did called “The Littlest Part.” Every actor plays a piece of this Grand Machine, with the littlest part have so seemingly simple a part she is mocked and sent away by the “more important” pieces. As the Creator of the Grand Machine assures her that her contribution IS important, the Grand Machine goes haywire and cannot function. It made me think of the “one body, many members” verses (Romans 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31), demonstrating that different parts have different but no less important functions, regardless of their size, shape and scope of function. The usher passing out bulletins is of as much service as the lector–even more so if the usher is wholeheartedly delighting in the Lord in his service and the lector is merely regurgitating the .words before him in order to conclude the service and get home to the television set.

I’ve heard it said that worship is not about how or what you feel…as a human and a “practicing Christian,” it is my only gauge thus far. I’d like to think I at least try to give my full attention to all parts of the service, whether I am an active participant or an eager listener. At the very least I am trying to be a cleansed common vessel, ready to be in service.

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2 responses to “Useful to the Master–POP Reflection

  1. Bob Baker says:

    The Littlest Part! Wow, does that bring back memories. Thanks!

    Would love to get a copy of the script for that classic for camp!

    • Wish I had it…but if I come up with something I’ll let you know.

      I met a Bob in the King’s Players back at the Lutheran Youth Conference in Montevallo, AL back in the 90s–at least I *think* it was a Bob. You wouldn’t perchance be that same fellow?

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