Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Most Important Thing

It doesn't matter if you're talking about Kevin Bacon, Global Warming, Cancer or "the most important thing" it is, as they say, all connected.

Just this morning I followed various blog links until I found a post at Blog In My Own Eye called The Most Important Thing. Here's a quote;
One of the themes that keeps recurring as I spend way too much time reading blogs is some variation of the question, "What's the most important thing?"

While discussions that follow in the posts and the comments are interesting - usually spawning a variety of answers and logic and texts to support them - I always come away with a nagging feeling of discontent. The issue of "the most important thing" is hardly ever resolved to anyone's satisfaction.

It makes me wonder if there is no single "most important thing."
What if there truly were no single "most important thing"? If there is no single one, then the sentence doesn't work... ok my first observation may not be all that helpful to anyone except those suffering from Cancer, who need the cure.

I found Mr. Brenton's post to be both entertaining and potentially useful for generating further discussion with regard to an all important subject - what IS the most important thing? Yes that's right, the more I write the words "the most important thing" the more important you'll consider this article to be. (I'm just seeing if that's true... I mean knowing the truth is the most important thing right?)

I'm part of a ministry that is being used by God to bring assemblies of believers into unity in the proclamation of the Gospel. We have studied the Scriptures and come away with the impression that the most important thing is that the Gospel be proclaimed. Keith ends his post in this way;
Maybe I'm just rationalizing in frustration. I gotta tell you, though ...

This possibility that "the most important thing may be different for people that God made different" is of some comfort to me.

Except for the overwhelming conviction that I spend way too much mind-preoccupying, opportunity-squandering, butt-numbing time reading and writing blogs about the most important thing.

... when I should be out, going and preaching and baptizing and making disciples and teaching and doing good like Jesus did.
What a great moment of clarity.

In his post Keith makes mention of some important Scriptures (are there any which are not important? I'm just saying... I'm just saying...) that show us that God doesn't appear to have a single ability or method for each and every one of us to operate in. I'm not sure I agree with how Keith presented the implications of this fact, but what I absolutely DO agree with him on is that this subject needs to be explored. God has given us one Spirit who commands, empowers and completes every good work we do. That is the "most important thing" in our work. In fact this most important thing will be the primary determining factor about our works at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

I don't want to get all charismatic movement-like, but for too long Christians have been trying to re-invent the Acts 2 Church by single office movements. IE for most of the last couple hundred years if you felt called to ministry you had a plethora of options including: the office of Pastor and Assistant Pastor, and Youth Pastor..... yes we had exactly 1 choice. Then we started to see that people could build organizations by calling themselves Apostles... or Prophets... and in most recently Evangelists.

The difference between the Acts 2 Church and each of these organizations, and I hazard to say our local assemblies too, is that the Acts 2 Church had all the offices working, and all the people working each in their own giftings together for one cause - to tell the world about The Christ so as to make disciples and baptise them as Christ has given us to do.

The most important thing? That we each work together in our own giftings for the edifying of the Body of Christ until we each come to perfection in Him so that as we evangelise the world we do it at the command of, empowered by, and in the assurance of the completion by God the Holy Spirit.

Just a couple of thoughts as I head off to my church this morning to have one of two tough conversations I expect to have this week... because I have to work in my giftings.


Jan said...

That reminds me of a song by Wayne Watson called "Field of Souls." He speaks of the myriad of ways we work together each according to our own calling to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Some of the lyrics are:

One is off to foreign soil
To work a distant land
Another labors close to home
To hold a neighbor's hand...

One shouts the gospel in the streets
For everyone to hear.
He's bold to everyone he meets
The word is loud and clear
Another cries alone and prays
In silence on her knees
Before the throne day after day
Where human eyes don't see...

It's a great affirmation of the differences in gifting and calling- how the Lord knows just what He's doing and knows just what He wants from each of us.

Incidentally, I have known all of those people he mentioned in that song. He must have been talking about them! :)


Kevl said...

hehehe, hey Jan do you know Joe from Chicago? You gotta know JOE!!


Yup I've been doing a lot of study about the how the Church is supposed to work as a Body lately. We have but one mission, but we have so many different parts of this Body to get it done.

I'm actually working on a segment of the radio show called "Stories from Ephesians 4" today.

Jan said...

Actually, I know quite a few in the first group. There are Mark, Sherry, and Chris and his wife in foreign lands. Then there is Joan, and Dan holding their neighbors' hands. Al, Dave, and Craig are shouting the gospel in the streets. I have my suspicions on who comprises the prayer group but of course we don't know that for sure since they labor where human eyes don't see.

Then of course there are the myirad of Sunday school teachers and Vacation Bible School teachers, study group leaders, etc. And we dare not forget the pastors and seminary teachers. Then there are the teachers of missionaries like our Bob N. The list just goes on and on! :D

It is even rumored that there are one or two bloggers. :)


Jan said...

I almost forgot Kathy in the neighbor's hand group.


mg159 said...

The One True Church:

by Fr. Arnold Damen, S.J. (1815 - 1890)

Imprimatur: Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York

The Only Church That Christ Established Is The Catholic Church.

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned." [Mark 16:16].