Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Read: When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."... John 21:15-19
Think About: My sister is visiting us this week from her home in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. She was telling us about a rich megachurch that has grown up in a nearby community. They have built a large sanctuary that holds thousands of people. (Most of the churches in that area are small and may hold a maximum of 100-300 people.)
To illustrate the wealth of that church, she said they had paid the township $100,000 to change the route of a scheduled marathon race that was expected to run right by their church at the time it would be holding services. They didn't want the noise and commotion associated with the marathon to interrupt their worship experience.
When she said that, I said, "They should have paid the township to run the race right down the center aisle of the church." She looked at me as if I had really lost my mind. It's funny what St. Luke's can do to your values.
But let's face it; the church could have rescheduled its services for earlier or later in the day. Imagine what the runners would have thought if, instead of being turned away, they would have been greeted as they ran by the church by a congregation out there to give them water and cheer them on. What might it have said about that church? What message did the church communicate instead?
Feed my sheep. Tend my flock. What does that mean? Jesus came "to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free." (Luke 4:18).
As his followers, we should say that Jesus is sending us "to bring good news to the poor. He has sent (us) to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free." That was his mission, and now that we are his body, that is our mission. When we spend much of our time and our wealth focusing on maintaining a campus that is used a maximum of five or six hours every week, we have little left to devote to the mission Jesus has sent us on.
St. Luke's has a beautiful, large campus with many buildings. When we drive by the church every day, we always marvel at how full the parking lot is. It seems that from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., the buildings that make up our campus are being used by someone. We have the childcare center, the counseling center, the gym, and the sports programs - all St. Luke's programs that reach out into the community and make use of the campus buildings. And there are many community organizations that use our buildings as a meeting place for programs that assist the needy. In the evenings, small study groups meet in the rooms that are used for Sunday School classes on Sunday. Tend my flock. Feed my sheep.
During the Arnold Palmer Golf Tournament this year, I came to church Sunday morning. In the past, I had attended the 5:30 p.m. service and did not encounter the parking chaos that exists on Sunday morning. Frankly, I was miffed that somebody I didn't know told me I couldn't park where I usually do, that it was "for the volunteers." It seemed as if the tournament was crowding us out. I commented later, "I hope they pay us for the inconvenience they cause us." God forgive me!
Pray this Prayer: Jesus, remind me daily what I'm here for. Amen.
Written by the St. Luke's Writing Team
Having problems viewing this page? Click here to view it online.
Click here to be removed from the Daily Devotions
Daily Devotion Archive | St. Luke's Weekly Update
© 2010 St. Luke's United Methodist Church at Windermere
4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando FL, 32819
407-876-4991 • Fax: 407-876-6495 • www.St.Lukes.org