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“Let Us Celebrate Our Ministry, which God entrusted to Us.”
Every October comes, I am excited and a little nervous to have a Laity Sunday. We show God what we did in His ministry for a year on Laity Sunday. We present what we did and see how God blessed us in our ministry. We keep Laity Sunday on October 22nd this year. Please come and join us to celebrate our ministry, which is God entrusted to us! Remember, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Laity Sunday calls for the church “to celebrate the ministry of Christians of all ages in the home, workplace, congregation, community, and world” (the Book of Worship). The United Methodist Church was begun by lay ministers, especially for North America’s Methodism. John Wesley, Founder of Methodism, sent lay ministers to America. Lay ministers, often called “circuit riders,” were sent to preach wherever people gathered. Some of our parishioners’ ancestors might have been circuit riders. With lay ministers, today’s Methodists could exist.
We do appreciate all people’s ministry. We build the church together and work on God’s mission together. Mainly, I appreciate our church leadership for your wonderful ministry. What a wonderful day to celebrate the UMM and UMW ministries and recognize lay servants in our parish and what we work for mission locally and globally!
If you can’t make it this Sunday in person, use the following article, which was published in the Sentinel on August 16th, 2023.
“Take Heart, and See God is There!”
You may know a famous story about Jesus walking on water. Can you imagine? While they were struggling with the wind in the middle of the lake, they saw someone approaching them on the water. They were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” and crying out in fear. But Jesus immediately spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” And among the twelve disciples, Peter said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water,” while others feared (Matthew 14:22-33).
Peter might believe that Jesus is the Lord who made all creatures and rules all universes. Peter might think that if it was Jesus, he could also walk on water by Jesus, who could calm winds and waves.
Does anyone have faith like Peter? While the other disciples still stayed in the boat with fear, he asked Jesus, “Say to me to come out of the boat and walk on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” So, Peter exited the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. Some people are, perhaps, still suspicious of how someone could walk on water, while others believe we can do it with God’s help. The disciples’ situation was challenging: it was midnight, the wind and waves were coming, and what appeared to be a ghost walked on water toward them. But, remember, Jesus was there with them.
It is not just a story from the Bible but our story. In our life journey, we often face winds and waves, whether it is a big or small deal. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when we can’t find a way to go forward, we somehow face the winds and waves, which are the burdens we have to deal with; somehow, we face the ghost. We may experience the loss of a loved one unexpectedly. If that happens, what do we do? Are we going to stay in the middle of grief, scared, heartbroken, and fearful? Remember, when we face difficulties, God is there whether we realize it or not. It is likely that when the disciples faced difficulties on the lake, Jesus came to them like a ghost. However, a few people realized it was Jesus, while others feared it was a ghost. When you feel lost in the middle of the night in your life journey, take heart and see God is there with you and for you.
God sometimes makes us wait for a long time and sometimes answers us immediately. We don’t know when it will be. But the good thing is that God is with us always. Whenever you have turmoil, take heart and see God is there. Amen!