This week, the Harvest Team stopped at a friend’s home for breakfast just as one of our ministry trips was beginning. The meal was great, the hospitality was over the top and we loved being there. At the end of breakfast and great conversation, our friend led a devotion for our team and his family.
I could stop right here and talk about the impact of this “after meal devotion” on the young adults in Harvest and on me. Over the years, I have always been inspired when people have included their guests in on devotional readings, scripture and prayers. These times have been sacred, holy moments. They make a mark, I think, because it’s powerful and in some ways unusual. I know I’m always encouraged during host home visits to change our habits in our own home to more regularly include scripture and devotional readings before or after meals.
The devotion that morning was perfect for a ministry team doing short term ministry for a week. The verse was Col. 2:1. Paul says, “I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.”
For those Paul has met and for those he hasn’t, he is contending for them: competing for them, striving for them, in a strong, definite and personal way! He is giving his all so both those who have heard the message and those who haven’t will understand the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col 1:27).
Fighting hard for people so that they will know the hope of glory… What a great encouraging verse as our team was heading into ministry with kids and adults we had never met before. We will see them for one week – then we will trust that God will continue the work in their hearts!
I was also reminded of my own calling – to be available to help student ministries, churches, youth pastors and ministry leaders in our region. As I am planning for ministry this fall, I’m renewed in my fight for both students and leaders. I’m ready to go again – fighting for the possibility that people we know and people we have never met will get a glimpse of God’s holiness and find faith in him.
Thanks Tiltons – You guys are great!