Multiplying Ministries…WEE, WE, WHEE All the Way Home

Dec 10th, 2010 | Category: Columns, Multiplying Ministries
By Rich Bimler

We Lutheran educators continue to be caught in a world fixated on the worries, woes, and wars of life, both globally as well as personally in our own lives. Just last night, watching the Evening News, I was struck by the reality of the news commentator saying “Good Evening,” and then proceeding to tell me why it wasn’t.

Recent studies also point out that worship attendance is down; fewer and fewer confirmands are visible in their congregations six months after they publicly profess their faith in the Lord; denominational headquarters continue to reduce their staff positions; and Lutheran schools are shrinking and closing. It’s enough to make one feel insecure, impotent, unnecessary, and certainly worthless, to say the least.

This can be called the “Wee” factor of life. You and I can often feel that we are alone in our ministries as we try to “right” the world. You and I can feel separated from one another as failures fall among previous failures. You and I can feel lonely and forgotten because of our sins and how we continue to mess things up in family, school, church, and in our own personal lives. Yes, there is a  lot of WEE-ness going around these days …a sense that you and I are not important, not valuable, not successful, and really have very little to share. And people of all ages have this dreaded WEE sickness. It’s called sin. After all, the needs are so great, other people have so much more going for them and so much more to share. I often feel like a zero, a nothing, a cipher. I am just another Zacchaeus—a “wee” little person.

But, there is hope for us WEE people. Yes indeed! The Lord brings us down from our “lofty” perches and brings us together as His WE people. It’s called the Church, the Holy Huddle, the Grace Place, the Shalom Zone, the Friendly Flock. In our Baptism, God takes the WEE-ness of our lives and brings us around the Font to mark us with His Sign through Water and the Word. To paraphrase John Donne, “No one is an island; we are all connected by the water of Baptism.” And “WEE” become “WE.”

The Church confirms in us, through Christ , that life is not about “me,” but rather it is about “we.” When one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us rejoices, we all rejoice. We WE people live by Grace that takes away our WEE-ness, even in the midst of our worries, woes, and wars, and binds us together for the warfares ahead of us. But it is different now. The WE people of God continue to move into the WEE-nesses of the world because we are One, in Christ Jesus. As Brennan Manning states in a recent article, “To be alive in the world is to be broken; to be broken is to stand in need of Grace.” And Grace we have, in Jesus Christ.

WE people have as their ministry motto, “Get Over it, and Get On With It.” WE people know that it is not about our WEE-ness that we boast, but rather it is about our WE-ness that we live and serve other WEE people around us. We become confident, bold, and courageous. We hear St. Paul saying to Timothy and also to us: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7).

And there is even more Good News to share: Our response to God’s love in Christ is a great big WHEE. We are now empowered to celebrate our faith, we become affirmed through others’ gifts and support, we share our gifts with others and become strong people of faith, reaching out with a WHEE sense of celebrating life to the fullest, to bring health and hope to the WEE people and the WE people of the world.

Our motto becomes WHEE-ness. We are the people of God. We can sing and shout, even when we do not feel like singing or shouting, because “The Lord has done Great Things for us; and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:3).

You see, our WE-ness and our WHEE-ness, in the midst of our WEE-ness is not about us. It is about what God in Christ has already done for us. So even when we want to give up, run from life, and climb back up to our security in a sycamore tree, we hear the gentle voice of a loving Father wooing us to come back down to “earth” again, to the realities of life and death, jostles and joys, worries and woes, to the place where He has put us…and that place is right here and right now.

Christ’s Resurrection is the Great WHEE of life. It takes our WEE-ness and connects us to others to make a WE Church, the Body of Christ, even when we know that the “Good Evenings” from the news cast really are not telling the whole story.

Matthew 28:8 clinches it for us WE people when we hear again and again the Easter message: “And they left the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy.”

Yes, life is all about WE, WEE, WHEE…all the way Home.

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