Pastor Quin - A Sheep's Advantage
Recently, I received an email from the Wyoming Rescue Mission, telling me that our church was being honored this year by the Mission for our service to and ongoing involvement in their work. First of all, I (on behalf of the church) was surprised, humbled, and honored by the gesture. So, I began to ponder what have we done to be honored in such a way? As a point of full disclosure, I, as pastor haven’t done very much for or with the Rescue Mission. I’ve always been supportive and encouraging of the ministry they do. But, I’ve not done a lot of hands-on work there. So it was immediately clear that there were others from Boyd Avenue who were serving. If you go back to the very beginning of the Rescue Mission, our church was heavily involved in the founding of “Soul’s Anchor”, which over time became Wyoming Rescue Mission. Then through the years, there has been varying levels of involvement and commitment to this community ministry. Even now, we have groups that regularly serve at the Mission. A couple of times a month some of our folks go down and help serve meals. We have people who are on their Board of Directors. We have people who have been heavily involved in their major building project as advisors or volunteers in one way or another. I have no idea if or how much money some of our folks may have given to the project, but I would not be surprised at all if it were substantial.
I’ve written all these things to make a theological point and to offer a modern illustration of a lesson that Jesus taught in Matthew 25: 31-40. In this teaching, Jesus is talking about the final judgment. He speaks to the “righteous” (vs. 37) and explains to them how He recognized their righteousness (vss. 35-36). He lists a series of benevolent acts that exhibited their relationship with Christ, thereby motivating their ministry to “the least of these brothers of Mine.” The striking twist in all of this is that the “righteous” don’t even know what they have done that is so exceptional. They just behaved as Christians behave. They had no realization that they were behaving in a “righteous” manner. They simply lived with the Holy Spirit within them and the “acts of righteousness” flowed out.
This describes the Christian life. When I received the notice of this honor coming to Boyd Avenue from the Rescue Mission, my first thought was: “What for?” As I have mentioned this to some of our folks I get exactly the same response: “What for?” Upon reflection and a review of our history, there is quite a lot. But, it warms my heart to see our church indeed respond as the “righteous” in Matthew 25. We just do not understand what was so exceptional. Our people have simply been living with the Holy Spirit of God within them. For when He lives within us, there are times, He will just flow out. I will be so very proud (in a good way) to accept the award on behalf of our church. I have done little in this area, but our church has done much, and we didn’t even notice. It’s good to be a sheep (Matthew 25: 33).