Sunday’s Scripture ~ Psalm 71:18
The focus of our Scripture passage this week is investment – both our investment in others as well as our investment in doing God’s work. “Even to old age and grey hairs!” we need to be about the business of doing God’s work.
I confess – I have grey hairs – but I’m nowhere near done because God is nowhere near done.
Where do we learn about investment? I think – and have experienced firsthand – fabulous instruction about investment from people who have invested in me.
I serve as a volunteer in the youth ministry program that Andrew directs. This past Sunday that church held a commissioning dinner for the adult volunteers that would be working with all “students” in the church this coming year – from bottles and diapers to true “old age and grey hairs.” It was shared in that training that one of the greatest gifts a teacher can give to a student is not information about the teacher’s respective subject matter, but knowing the names of his or her respective students.
One of my favorite YouTube videos is a poetic piece done in the spoken-word style subjecting Jesus’ conversation with the Woman at the Well in John 4. You can watch the video by clicking here. The refrain of this spoken-work declares, “to be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.”
We are known by others because others invested in us. We are loved by others through the same action – because others invested in us.
Weekly I have the privilege of investing in elementary students at the neighboring school to Reeves where I serve as a helper and mentor in a first grade classroom. Weekly I have the privilege of investing in high school students as a volunteer in the youth ministry program that Andrew directs. Weekly I have the privilege of investing in the community of faith that gathers at Reeves as I trust God to do what God does and make something out of the sermons I offer. And I am convinced that I am able to do this sort of investment because of the folks that are investing in me, like:
- My sweet mother who sends me an email every Sunday night to say that she prayed for me that morning, that she hopes I had a good day, and that she loves me.
- My incredible partner in life, Andrew, who is a wonderful sounding board; cheerleader; and fount of strength, “thatta girl”s, keep goings, and true passion
- Friends and colleagues that send completely unexpected yet completely intentional calls, emails, texts, and carrier pigeons (I’m sure the carrier pigeons are on their way…) to encourage, to console, to celebrate what’s going on.
- The teachers in my life – spanning the secular, sacred, and social realms that took the time – and still take the time – to know my name and check up on me.
In the days that await me – until I achieve “old age and grey hairs” I want to display this kind of investment to others. This is a vital gift that God invites and commissions me to offer to the present and coming generations.
Reflection: Who invested in you? In whom can you invest? What is your timeline to begin this investment?
Prayer: “We will work with each other, we will work side by side. We will work with each other, we will work side by side, and we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”* Amen.
*”They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love” from The Faith We Sing, 2223.