Maybe you start at four or five in the afternoon or maybe late enough for the street lights to be coming on. As lines of cars are heading home you are heading in to work for second shift. Maybe it took some adjusting or maybe you loved it from the start but you work on a path that is counter to the main stream. That setting sun heading in to work snap shot is a little snap shot of lay ministry. Your calling and your work is every bit as important as the first shift workers.
Will any one of you who has a servant[c] plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Luke 17:6-9
We are those servants. We have labored in the secular field all day yet God has a higher calling for us still. We come in from our fields and are given the immense privilege to serve Him as He sits at the table. You may serve at the table as a nurse in a free clinic, an accountant helping the pastoral staff keep their books straight or as a volunteer in day care. God’s calling is every bit as urgent, serious and with eternal rewards as when you were working on the world’s time-clock. This morning let two things bring refreshment to you as you wearily press on in fields that only the master sees.
A) Jesus knows everything we do for Him!
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward Matthew 10:42
It will all be worth it because we have not simply done what we were expected to do. We have the honor to serve Jesus in unique ways that often only the Lord sees. He wants you to know that he sees and that in heaven awaits His reward. No we don’t do it for the reward but Jesus is saying that our simple service here on earth has eternal value to Him!
B) Lay Ministry gives us both a privilege and a power
What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 1 Corinthians 9:18-19
When Mary brought our her alabaster box and poured its precious contents on Jesus’ feet, she was chosen as the example to be spoken of everywhere the gospel was to be preached. She did the unexpected. She was misunderstood and criticized by everyone but Jesus. But Mary was unmoved by what others thought was appropriate for a woman of her position. She honored the master with her gift and the fragrance of her perfumed oil is still filling rooms today. What is your gift for the master? Do not be discouraged by the difficulty, harsh responses of others or the embarrassment of your position. Pour out every drop from your alabaster jar on the feet of Jesus.He is worth more than we could ever give or do or sacrifice! Then one day in Heaven we open our eyes and see a table to which we will be invited to come and sit forever with Him!