Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hands up if you have dimples

I'm a creature of habit which means I like my routines. My Sunday morning usually consists of a bit of a lie in while watching three shows on telly. I know...telly in the bedroom is BAD and no self-respecting Christian should have one within 7 metres of the bed but it was Beloved's idea and I've grown accustomed to sharing my lie in with Chris Nichol on a Sunday morning. First up is "Tagata Pacifica", most of the news is local so it keeps me in the loop. Next it's Chris with his warm smile, horrendous shirt and rollicking old hymns. I sure do miss singing hymns in church so I get my fix on a Sunday morning (therefore, making it okay for a Christian to have a telly in the bedroom). Finally there's "Attitude", an inspiring show about New Zealanders overcoming disabilities.  Today we were visiting a different church for Beloved's grandson's Dedication service. Instead of the more respectable time of 10am, the service was to start at 9 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING!! That's a bit of a shock to the system of a habitual keeper of routines.

So I missed the hymns and inspiring kiwis but I just managed to catch an interesting item on Tagata Pacifica about a Bikie Gang that goes around the place spreading good news. The guys on this thing looked really mean and TOUGH!
You're scared. I can tell!
Seriously, I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of any of these people. I nearly broke with tradition and thought about turning the telly off but the urge to keep to routine won out. The heavily tattooed guy who started the gang was being interviewed and his story wasn't a pretty one. He'd previously been a head honcho in some outfit called "Headhunters" - that didn't sound too friendly. He and his wife were well acquainted with Her Majesty's Hotel. When the interviewer asked him what turned his life around, he said that his six year old daughter had started to go to a church. I guess some nice kid in her class was probably taking her along to Sunday School. So this hulk of a man told his wife that he didn't want his kid going to some kind of cult and wanted to see what was going on. He went. He liked what he saw and heard. He allowed his life to be changed...and now he's rounded up others to go about the place spreading the news of hope and redemption.

A few blokes were interviewed and I found their stories exciting and moving. I was starting to get "Ministry Envy". How cool to be traveling around the countryside on noisy Harleys and changing lives. I thought about my puny little effort in going to the Sunday School room a couple of times each month. I've been doing it for years and I haven't felt that I've done anything spectacular. I'm certainly not especially brilliant at what I do during the class. Some days I probably just fumble through it, albeit with good intentions.

Here's the thing. *I* don't necessarily do anything spectacular, but maybe by being available the Holy Spirit can. In the case of the rough biker guy, there must have been someone going to the Sunday School room and teaching his little girl a few things about Jesus. It might not have felt like much was going on at the time for the teacher, and they may never have even known that her mum and dad had visited church one day to sort them out if they were teaching something they didn't like, but it looks to me like they made a heck of a difference in the big scheme of things.
Nobody ever said that ministry was without risk.
I've said it before, I think Slimy Legs hates it when children make friends with Jesus. He hates that he can't get his hooks into them and drag them down that slippery slope that sends so many young people into a muddy pit at the bottom. To be found by Jesus early in life - that's special. And what a difference it can make to the overall tapestry of God's picture.

One little girl went to Sunday School. And now the whole country is hearing about what Jesus did for her dad and all his mates.

So I reckon, no matter how puny anyone's effort might seem, our Majestical Bestie can pick it up and run with it. He can turn our measly "widow's mite" into magnificent things for His Kingdom. It might not be a healing ministry or preaching at a gargantuan revival, but just being you and doing what you do - baking a cake or just sharing your dimpled smile with someone who needed it - has value which we should never underestimate. Your offering is a piece of gold to God and He will use it to make something beautiful - even if you don't ever find out about it this side of Heaven.