Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thoughts on "Doing Nothing"

Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN
where Evangelist Sam Jones
held "Quitin' Meetings"
“To all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:28)

Dressed as a rag doll, 24-year-old Melody Schick sat with a teddy bear cradled in her left arm and staring into space from a revolving platform as hundreds of shoppers watched in a Dallas shopping mall. Only her eyes moved. Then, five hours and 43 boring minutes later she rose slowly and tried to smile. Miss Schick had just beaten the previous true life world record for sitting still of 5 hours and 32 minutes! She was now in the record books!

Unfortunately, many Christians also compete for this record weekly. Some have been metaphorically “sitting still” for years, never becoming involved in the work of Christ through their local church (or any other ministry). Though they might criticize their church frequently for “what it’s not doing,” they seldom (if ever) participate or volunteer to help in its ministries. So, while there are a lot of Christians who are busy “doing nothing,” there are no Christians who have “nothing to do.”

Rev. Sam Jones, the famous 19th-century Methodist evangelist from Georgia for whom Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium (better known as the original “Grand Ole’ Opry”) was built was known to hold “Quittin' Meetings” -- services where people could stand up and confess things they were going to give up and “quit.” The story is told that at one of these, following his challenge to worshipers to “quit” something, a man stood up and confessed, “Preacher Jones, up until now as a Christian I've been doing nothing,... and today I'm going to quit!”

When we become members of a United Methodist Church (ours included), we make vows that we will support Christ’s work in our world through it by sharing our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. So, for our annual stewardship commitment on Sunday, November 16th, I invite you to prayerfully consider the ways that you will grow the giving of your service and resources, so that you’ll be “doing something” for Christ through your church this next year. Not only will it be a blessing to others, but you’ll be blessed yourself as you do it! Remember that God loves you and I do, too!

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