Monday, April 8, 2013

Buried Dreams and Bearing Fruit: A Meditation on Ministry

I feel like this passage has been haunting me this Easter season:
"Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." -John 12:24-26 (NRSV)

Here's what I read about it in the Green Book last week:
"In a word, earthly life is but the first, very short stretch of a journey to be done; it is very far from completing it. This is the time of 'the grain of wheat that dies in the earth'; it lasts the space of a day as against the thousand thousand years of God." -Carlo Carretto, Journey Without End

I've also been listening to old sermons a lot lately, thinking about the cost of ministry in general and about pioneer missionary Rev. Harmon F. Schmelzenbach and the subsequent generations of his family in particular.

And hearing this quote in Pastor Carl's sermon yesterday helped sort of tie it together for me:

"I think a lot of us are not on a path; we’re in a rut. We have confused comfort with peace, belief with faith, safety with wisdom, wealth with blessing, and existence with life. And for many of us, our dreams will be buried under the epitaph, 'I refused to let go of what I had.'" -Erwin McManus

All of this is kind of sums up why I feel (now more than ever) that God is calling us to some sort of full-time ministry. Whether that's on a missions field or back in the States, in traditional or bi-vocational ministry...yeah, I still have no idea.  
But here's why I feel okay about it all:
"You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that my father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another." -John 15:16-17 (NRSV)

He is faithful!! :)


  1. Great quotes! I'm coming to believe more and more that all Christians are called to "full time ministry."

    It's just going to have to look different than we're used to. May we have eyes to see His call, break out of our ruts, and follow Him.

    Love and miss you guys!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! :)

      We're still figuring some bits of the journey out, for sure...but learning how to equip ourselves the best we can and trust where God's leading us.

      Love and miss ya'll too...say hi to our nephews for us! :)