Becoming a Living Offering

26 11 2012

BY MARVIN RICE, St. Charles, Missouri, USA

Reunion participants show their thankfulness by bringing offerings for a gratitude altar

The person responsible for food preparation at reunion was a big man. He was knowledgeable, knew what needed to be done, and gave direction with gentleness and patience as he led the typical rotating staff of reunion workers.

Because of the demands of his responsibility, he could not attend the daily classes, prayer services, or discussion groups. In the closing service, the mission center president asked the congregation to reflect on what meaning the week in community had held for them. After a few spoke in deeply personal ways, this gentle man made his way to the microphone. As he turned to face the congregation, tears began to flow down his cheeks. When able, he spoke in humility and from his heart with words similar to these:

I offered my best for you this week. I prayed the food we prepared would be wholesome, enjoyable, and filling. I prayed about the menu, I prayed about each meal, and I prayed for each of you as you went through the serving line. I offered what I could every day and at every meal for each of you.

His life had become a living oblation, a sacred offering for the people of the reunion. His prayerful preparation, his continuing prayer for each part of his service and each person, his offering of physical energy in caring for the needs of the people, and his humble, caring words at the closing service created a gift of ministry wrapped in the depth and simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The example of this good man is not unique. Nearly everyone can speak of people who have been examples with a similar focus of loving ministry. And nearly everyone has taken a similar approach to life at times. But his offering—simple yet profound—was a prime example of living out the mission of Jesus Christ in a practical, understandable way.

It reminds us to approach each day and each effort in sincere and deep prayer. It reminds us to wrap even the smallest detail in constant prayer. And it reminds us to offer prayers of gratitude and blessing for each person we meet.

As we willingly live in humble service, enhanced by an avid prayer life, we indeed become living oblations, sacred offerings, for a world in need. The mission of Jesus Christ, our mission, will be richly enhanced.



2 responses

27 11 2012

A great example of “servant ministry”. “Well done my good and faithful servant.” So often we are more greatly blessed in serving that we are when served. Great testimony.

26 11 2012
Marvin Kleinau

My thanks to brother Rice for this story. It is exactly this kind of loving service that has marked so many of the workers at Brush Creek over the years. I have learned more from watching them then I have in classes. It’s hard to put aside our ego’s, even at reunions, but when we do, there is a kind of light that surrounds us. And it burns brightly.

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