There’s a statement in I Peter 3:15 that always makes me stop and think: “Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.”
Always be ready…
Now that can be a challenge! But I’ve been reminded of the need to be ready in several ways this last week.
I’m a pianist/organist–and responsible for scheduling musicians for the Daily Prayer for Peace held in our denominational headquarters every day of the year. Sometimes that’s easier than others; sometimes I know I’m going to need to play. Sometimes, though, I don’t know until the last minute that my musician isn’t going to be available–and today was one of those days. Due to a miscommunication, I didn’t have anyone to play. So I needed to pull some music out to be able to play. Fortunately I have several pieces that are easy to pick up–for piano and organ…and I am also fortunate (blessed!) in that I can sightread well and don’t have any problems playing any of the hymns in our hymnal.
My son–who is also a minister–discovered the need to be always be ready over the weekend when he was paying a pastoral visit to the mother of one of our friends who is in a nursing home. Another elderly woman there–from a different faith tradition–responded to a statement on a shirt (acknowledging our belief in Christ) and started peppering him with questions. Difficult questions…nothing easy! Fortunately we have a family member from the same faith tradition, and so Mark was able to relate to this woman and respond to her questions appropriately.
I also played for a wedding this weekend–an outdoor wedding on a farm. (First time I’ve played a wedding where roosters helped provide the music!) It was a beautiful experience–but another one of those situations where I found myself needing to be ready for almost anything. This time it was a gentle breeze that kept trying to blow my pages shut. Thank goodness for a husband who was willing to sit by the keyboard to hold (and turn) pages!
There are so many ways we need to be ready…ready to provide ministry to people we come in contact with. They’re not always going to look like we think “ministry” should. Sometimes they will…but more often than not, they will come when we need to listen to someone…give a glass of water…help direct someone to a place where they can find help…smile…
If we are ready, we will always find places to minister!