Jerry Wiemann, Burlington, IA, USA
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:15, 17–18 NRSV
A new member of our congregation was having problems dealing with her 21-year-old son Cody. This mother was at her wits’ end and did not know what to do! She decided to call Dawn, a friend from church. One of Dawn’s gifts is pastoral care.
After hearing the mother’s dilemma, Dawn said, “Lois, Ike, and Tom are here; let us talk about it and I’ll call you right back.” The problem solvers went to work.
The two couples had raised children of their own set out to help. Tom said he had a little experience he could apply, and as an over-the-road truck driver, he had time to talk on the phone with Cody. The two hit it off right away.
They would talk for hours at a time and would address the mother’s concerns during their conversations. As they continued the long-distance friendship, Tom discussed the subject of baptism. In just a few months Tom baptized Cody. The baptismal service touched me as I realized we never know when or how God will call us to use our gifts and talents—often when we least expect it. I experienced our congregation in mission.
As Tom and Cody’s talks continued, Cody’s girlfriend became a frequent part of the conversations. You guessed it. In a few months Tom performed their wedding. Because disciples shared God’s love and acceptance, we celebrated another sacramental event in a “congregation in mission.”
Prayer for Peace
Let us be your eyes, God, seeing need and stepping up. Let us be your heart, God, sharing the love and peace of Christ.
Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Reread the sentence, “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” Make a list of the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Make another list of issues that matter to your congregation. Reflect on the likenesses and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”
Today, God, if I feel I cannot help someone, I will link them up with one who has the necessary gifts to help.