Many of you know I started out ministry as a youth pastor. If I am honest, somewhere in the back of my mind I always knew I was going to go through the Ordination process to become an elder, but I think there was a small....OK...really big part of me...that tried to run from God for so long. I guess you can say that Youth Ministry was the "gateway" for me into what I am doing now. That doesn't diminish the role of a youth pastor, only to say that I believe many of the lessons I learned as a youth pastor have brought me to the place I am today.
In my previous appointment, one of my students always seemed to have a hard time saying the word "pastor;" it always came out "pasture." And so, of course being in youth ministry, it stuck. Now, on my table in my office I have a nice "pasture" with a Donkey and a Cross, and a blanket with my newly coined name embroidered on it. What started as a joke, turned into something special.
Living in Texas, especially in the Hill Country, there are some pretty beautiful pastures. There is nothing better than the Texas Hill Country in the Springtime; flowers blooming cows in the pastures, and and lots of green grass. To me, it is one of the most peaceful things in the world.
As a Pastor, I believe it is my calling to bring the peace of Christ with me wherever I go. There are many stories about Jesus when he would enter the room and he would say something like, "Peace be with you." (Luke 24:36)
There have been many times when I have been invited into a situation where there hasn't been any peace. Deaths, family disputes, tragedies, the list goes on...
And yet, I have been called to bring the peace of Christ with me; to enter in to a moment, walk along side a family and minister.
When Christ came to this world, the world was not at peace (kinda like now). The Romans ruled the known world with an iron fist, there were famines, wars, and life was difficult for many reasons. And yet, Christ entered in, not as a conquering hero, but as a baby. He did things a lot differently then everyone else.
Where winds would rage, Jesus calmed the storm. Where people were filled with demons, Jesus drew them out and cast them away. Where people were sick with leprosy, Jesus would touch them and make them clean.
Peace...Like a Peaceful Pasture.
I hope this week, you experience the peace that passes all understanding.
Let us Pray...
Oh God, you are Good, and your love endures forever. Help us to feel your peace around us, and help us to bring your peace with us into every situation. Calm our hearts, heal our bodies, and wash our lands. Help us to put you first in everything we do.
In Jesus' name,
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD