As we enter the second full week of Lent, I am reminded of one of the verses we used in our Ash Wednesday service: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). This verse, at first glance is of course calling us to repentance. Broken hearts are hearts with which God can work. But our hearts need to be broken for those we see who are oppressed and needy as well. We are called not to walk by those we regularly pass without giving them full notice. It should break our hearts to know that there are people who suffer within walking distance of our church.
I have just returned from one of my monthly Residency in Ministry meetings, where I am with others who are placed in ministry positions all over the state of Mississippi. The purpose of these meetings is for all of us to learn about how to do ministry in our local settings. Sometimes we get valuable information to that effect but always I leave with pride and love for our church here at FUMC-NA. As I listened to my peers, I became once again aware of what a wonderful situation we are in here. Enthusiasm is high. We are blessed with sound program budgeting and careful stewards. We have a larger number of youth and children than we have had in the recent past. We are a blessed people.
As such we are called not just to mourn with the needy over their plights, but also to reach out to them in tangible ways. Let’s each commit to putting in some mission time during this season of Lent. We have ample opportunities: Camp Sonshine; the Rice and Beans mission night, April 8th; Highland House, with multiple missions and programs; the Hispanic tutoring program which needs tutors; and work days with the Methodist Men. If none of those suit you, think of some way to pitch in and help; all of these programs need those dedicated to pray for them. Everybody in the kingdom of God is called to be broken hearted for mission; just pick one and dive in.
See you on the mission field,