Last Sunday I shared a story from a news video of a Milwaukee bus driver stopping to save a toddler on a freezing overpass, which I saw as a parable of how God sometimes works in the world through those who are paying attention to the needs of the world around them.
At the end of sharing this story, I noted that this was the ninth such incident in Milwaukee in which a child was saved by Milwaukee city employees. It got me thinking about ways of being the church in the world. I used to think of the church as the bus and the pastor as the bus driver. As bus driver, my job is to get everybody on board our bus and make sure they get to where we are going. Because it is on our route, and we are only responsible for the people who get on our bus, no need to worry about others because there are plenty of other buses and modes of transportation.
But after this video, I’m thinking about the church NOT as the bus and me as the bus driver. I think of the church as being the bus driver, focusing our attention on where Jesus is leading us into the world, and our job as the bus driver is to PAY ATTENTION. Not only to those on our bus, but to those in need outside of our daily routine and usual route. And, like the Milwaukee bus driver, be ready to step outside the bus, face oncoming traffic and reach those in need and help them.
I’ve been reading 1 Corinthians this week, and as part of worship, we’ll be reading 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, in which Paul writes about the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. He finishes in verse 11 by saying that the gifts are given by the Spirit to be used for the common good…the good of all, not just for some, but for all. The church is called, equipped, and sent out by God to be attentive like the Milwaukee bus driver was, to pay attention to everybody: those outside as well as inside. Not just US.
Come to worship this Sunday and let’s see where the Spirit leads us to steer the bus next. Thanks for entertaining some new ways of being the church!
Wherever God leads you, I hope you remember how very much you are loved and that you are able to see glimpses of God’s presence in the least expected circumstances.
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Pastor Chuck Goodman has been pastor at Hope for nearly ten years. He writes each week about what's on his mind, giving readers something to meditate on until and beyond Sunday.