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A Note from Pastor Andrew

We Are Called to Care

This passage from the Book of Job maybe the single best example of what caring looks like in the midst of suffering.

When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. -Job 2:11-13

I would like to emphasize a few things in the text.

They heard: When people suffer, they don’t always have the strength to reach out for help. Depending on what they are suffering from, fear or shame may inhibit them from sharing, too. Keeping up with our friends and family to know what is going on in their lives is one of the first steps to caring.

They go: This may seem like an obvious point in caring but taking that first step is not always easy. Our own fears of what to say or do can inhibit us from going. It takes courage to step out that door and into another one. Remember, “Be strong and courageous… for the Lord your God goes with you.”

They wait to listen: Waiting does not come easy to everyone. Listening does not always come easy either. The number of things that swirl around in our minds during silence can be dizzying. However, consider the words of the psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God.”

It is worth noting that pastors are not the only ones called to care. Remember that we are all part of the “royal priesthood” that is called to bring the light of Christ into people’s lives. Pastor Herb, Pastor Bruce, myself and Lydia Brooks, our Director of Family Ministry, cannot bear the weight of all who suffer. We need you. We need people in our congregation who are willing to hear, to go, and listen to others who are struggling.

We want to invite you to consider being a part of a new Care Ministry Team. Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing the congregation to what Care Ministry looks like through a number of videos to equip and encourage you to consider the call.

Week 1: Why Have a Care Ministry Team?

Week 2: What Does Care Ministry Look Like?

Week 3: Stories of Care Ministers in our Midst

Week 4: Is God Calling You Into Care Ministry?

Reflect for a moment on our logo at St. Stephen Martyr Lutheran Church: Two people joined by the heart of Christ and sharing the love of Christ together. This is what caring looks like and this is where love lives.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. Amen.

Pastor Andrew

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