Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 21: Year 2
“After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.” (Acts 21: 19)
Sometimes, in the English language, we lose who we are talking about. The, “his ministry,” could very well mean God’s ministry. Paul will claim it as his, (Paul’s), ministry in the eyes of most scholars but I believe all ministry is God’s ministry through Christ Jesus. When Paul was first commissioned in Chapter 9, the Risen Lord Jesus said, “But the Lord said to (Ananias), ‘Go, for Saul; (later Paul) is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel” (Acts 9: 15).
The people to whom Paul is speaking also recognize that there is more to what Paul is doing and saying than Paul himself. For, “When they heard it, they praised God. Then they said to him, ‘You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all zealous for the law” (Acts 21:20). We like to be proud of what we are doing in God’s Name, but we must remember that it is God’s Holy Name that empowers us to do what we do.
I have recently had a lay person preach for the first time at his church. We talked that night after he had time to reflect. He tried to give me accolades for what he thought I did for him through four years of Education for Ministry. I had to remind him that what he did in his wonderful sermon was in him all along. He only needed to learn how to be open to God.
God just wants to work through us, for us. We all have a piece of God within us. I think clergy today, even like Paul in his day, do the work of God and cause the people of the world to open themselves up to the wonders of God in order that we too might “do the things done among the Gentiles, that is, all people, through [God’s] ministry.” Therefore I say to you reading this blog, (clergy or not), settle down, feel God working through you, and then, by word and deed, do the ministry of God.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John