Back in the days of the American West, there used to be three classes of tickets on the old stagecoaches.
The ride was equally bumpy and dusty no matter which ticket you held; the real value of the ticket emerged when the stagecoach got stuck.
If you held a first-class ticket, it was your privilege to remain in the coach, while the crew labored to push it out of the ditch.
If you held a second-class ticket, you were expected to step down from the coach and stand off to the side.
If it was a third-class ticket you held in your hand, you had to get out, roll up your sleeves and push.
Except for those who are young, disabled or needing the community’s special care, there aren’t any tickets in the church but third-class tickets. Everyone is expected to work, and use their talents to advance the mission of Jesus Christ.
There’s no standing around, looking up toward heaven. For a while, that’s what Jesus’ disciples were doing as he ascended into heaven. Then two angels snapped them out of it. “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky’” (Acts 1:11)?
Even the big event of Jesus’ ascension wasn’t an excuse for believers to stop working. Don’t let the big events of this life keep you from working for the mission of Jesus Christ.
Isn’t that the very reason he ascended, so that his church can make disciples?
Dear ascended Lord and Savior Jesus, your saving work doesn’t need my help. Thank you for the gift of salvation. And yet you ask me to help in your mission, to work for your gospel. Make me alert and active. Grow the volunteer ministry in my church, starting with me. Amen.
Pray about your volunteer ministry and engagement at your church. Is it passionate? Needing a boost? Spectating while others do all the work? Needing a break? Imagine Jesus ascending, raising his hands in blessing, “Go and make disciples.” How does that help?
[thanks to www.homileticsonline.com for the stagecoach illustration]