Walking together…The joy of ministry and sorrow of ministry

DSC_0093This past weekend I was asked to speak the message at a former student’s wedding.  It was truly an honor to be a part of her, and her husband’s special day.  It really made me think about all the students God has lead across my path over the last almost 12 years.  It has made me think about what I love most about being in ministry.  I love walking alongside people. I get the greatest joy of walking along side people and sharing Jesus with them. Sometimes with great joy and sometimes with great sadness. Most of the time it is both.

Speaking at Emily’s wedding reminded me of the messiness of walking with people. You see at Emily’s wedding it rained during the whole outside wedding ceremony. I am not talking about that kind of rain that just gets you wet but the kind that leaves you drenched.  My suit was dripping and I couldn’t see for part of the message because water was just running down my face. I was reminded that walking with students isn’t always easy. It can be quite messy. You know when it is all said and done it is quite rewarding.  You get to see two people join as one to follow Jesus together.  You get to see lives changed and you get to laugh at the craziness of life and enjoy the moments for what they are.  Moments where Jesus can bring joy in the midst of hardships. It did make it much easier to talk with them about being children of God through baptism because I had such a great object lesson.

This weekend also marked another tough moment in ministry.  A student who I met a few times and is friends with some of the students I know well, ended his life.  It was a tough way to end a weekend.  I also thought is was emblematic of ministry.  God lets us walk with students in the good times and we also have to walk through the tough stuff as well.  I am reminded that Jesus calls us to walk in the lows and the highs, in the sorrow and joys but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will have another post later about this week with students and about this young man. So as I end I would ask for prayers first for the couple who is starting a new life and second for the family grieving today. Ministry is tough and walking with families isn’t always easy but Jesus reminds us of his unfailing love through all of it.

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance

Ecclesiastes 3:4 ESV

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