There are times in my life that I am reminded that all the stuff I say, all the stuff I know, unless there are hands and feet behind it doesn’t mean anything. Here in the part of Iowa I live in, there is a surge of water being released from an overfilled and overstressed dam. This surge in an already bloated river will flood many basements and destroy some homes. Our church has organized to send people to help our family who is in the path of the water. We have been packing and moving quickly before the date of the release.
As I was packing, I was joking with some guys. We were talking about how if you plan how to pack, it never works but sometimes you just have to shut up and work. One of the guys made a joke about how that seems to be what Pastors tell people, to shut up and work. We laughed and continued to haul boxes.
I love to teach, and I enjoy preaching some (which is why I’m an associate, not a lead). To put it simply, I enjoy talking. I like to talk about God’s word, about how we apply it, how it changes us and the world we live in. I like to work with leaders, talk about how we make disciples, how we teach them. I like to discuss theology, history and society. I like talking, but weeks like this are a good reminder to me. Sometimes we need to shut up and work.
You all have heard it from St. Francis. “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.” I believe it’s always necessary to use words, because faith comes from hearing, but doing sometimes needs to happen before speaking. Sometimes we need to share the gospel in deed and then in words. It has been a great opportunity to show what the Church is about by getting to work. Let me encourage you, when the opportunity comes to shut up and work.