“Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophethas appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.” Luke 7.11-17
For some reason I find myself having to do administration in ministry. I know this may strike you as, “duh, we all have to.” But no where in the Gospels do I see Jesus doing administrative duties such as bookkeeping, recording keeping, balance budgets or sending out email blasts to potential converts. This is not what Jesus was about. He was living in the moment and in eternity at the same time.
Now to be fair, Judas kept track of the money, he was the finance director if you will, Peter probably made sure they had a place to stay and good food to eat. And in Acts 9 a whole host of “deacons” were appointed to help Stephen with the administration of the church.
But as far as Jesus goes, he didn’t worry about any of this. I mean, why would he? He knew God would provide all his needs. He understood that if someone came to faith, his or her name was written in the Lambs Book of Life, not entered into the synagogues data base. The records we keep today, and what they kept back then, for the most part, won’t last. Will they help us reach the least, last, lost? Maybe. Will they help us keep track of the number of baptisms, confirmations, memberships and conversions? Sure. But what is the point? Isn’t God doing that already?
The scripture today has Jesus entering a town called Nain along with a large crowd. The person he saw as he approached was a son who was dead being mourned by his mother. It was her only son. Jesus didn’t stop to ask permission — mind if I do this miracle? Or better yet, was he crossing over into someone else’s area of ministry or administration? That would be foolish. Jesus acted for God and for good. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” And at once, the man sat up, started talking and was given back to his mother.
My point is this — some things are too important to get all worked up about in terms of politics, business, profits and losses. Even in ministry people focus more on running the business side of the church then doing the work of the church. Maybe a good balance can be struck or we could just do what Jesus did — be led by the Spirit and change the world.
We are caught in a world where “paperwork” seems necessary but lets never make it a priority. The work of the Spirit is unseen but the fruit of His activity is evident everywhere we look and especially in Heaven.
“O Lord God, I’m writing this on a mini vacation in the mountains. I’m obviously thinking about the many ministries for which I work and serve. But I’m reminded of Mary and Martha and how the busyness of Martha was not rewarded. Yet Mary’s seat at the foot of your throne was the better choice — “Mary has chosen what is better.” Help me to sit at your feet more often, to be in the moment, to do what matters most and primary. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen