Once again, I begin my weekly blog reflection by pointing to an episode of the series about Jesus called “The Chosen”. Obviously, I have been very moved by this series! CLICK HERE to find out about it.
In episode 4, in the current “Season 2” series, which was just released last week, Jesus sharply rebuked brothers James and John for being overly zealous in wanting to call down fire from Heaven to strike their enemies…after having been spit on and had rocks thrown at them from a group of Samaritans. James and John were humbled by Jesus’ rebuke to them. Jesus, who thus far, had been gentle and loving…got very angry at these two. He was tired and had excused himself to be alone…but James and John had followed him…seeking to be justified in their position stemming from an argument that was developing among Jesus’ growing group of followers over who was to be in charge. This was the first time they had seen Jesus get angry! When someone is normally kind and light-hearted…overlooking faults as a matter of character…for someone like that to get angry, really makes one feel bad. John especially felt terrible, and when Jesus asked for his advice on another matter, John replied that he did not feel worthy to give his opinion. He had truly been humbled. At this point, Jesus, with a twinkle in his eye, began to gently tease John…bringing up Old Testament heroes who had also had outbursts of zealous passion for the Lord’s justice to be done…and John was able to laugh at his own faults. A true intimacy between Jesus and John was beginning to develop.
In the struggle of working alongside of one another…in the conflicts of sharing a ministry…in the humility of accepting criticism and respecting authority…true friendship was formed.
Imagine yourself as John the beloved apostle! Can you even begin to imagine what it would have been like to actually work side by side…shoulder to shoulder…with Christ the King of the Universe? Jesus, the man…but also God. Son of God. The messiah. Waking up with him. Having breakfast with him. Traveling with him, talking on the way. Being persecuted… insulted and spit upon. Together!
If we had lived back then, and were luck enough to have been one of those who got to hear Jesus preach…and maybe even experienced a healing from Jesus…we would have been very privileged indeed! We would have known who He is and would have worshipped him from afar. We may have even spread the word about this man who had the power of God in Him. But we wouldn’t have had the amazing privilege of actually WORKING with Him…as John and Mary, and the other disciples had.
We can relate to this today! Even if we are blessed to have a saving knowledge of Christ, and worship Him as our Lord and Savior…if we are only worshipping Him inside of a Church or in our own homes…we are missing out on the INTIMACY….the FRIENDSHIP…that comes from working side-by-side with Him in the ministry to save souls and lives from abortion!
I see a parallel to our work in the pro-life cause. A small team of us have continued to work trying to combine our year-round sidewalk advocates with our newly formed 40 Days for Life 365 program. It has been a struggle. But in the process, we have developed a closer relationship with each other. It is the same for the pairs of volunteers who stand together each week on the sidewalk. There is a deep connection that is formed when we share a mission, and we work side by side to accomplish it.
God really doesn’t need us to “partner” with Him. He condescends Himself to come down to our level, so that we can look into His eyes and see His loving gaze, and feel His arms around us, and receive His good-natured pat on our backs. He permits us to struggle with Him in this work of saving lives and souls. And it indeed is a privilege that I hope you will take advantage of!
Last week we had the great joy of witnessing ANOTHER BABY SAVED! Sidewalk volunteers Jackie, Tracy and Karen reached out to an abortion bound mom and dad as they entered PP. Soon after entering, they came back out and said they had changed their minds! Praise God for two babies in three weeks who will now get to live out their God-given purpose…thanks to our wonderful volunteers!
Also, last week, another blessing was given when Linda and Sandy were doing their shift in front of PP…and a young woman with a new baby walked up to them and told them that her baby would not be alive today if it weren’t for people praying in front of that Planned Parenthood! She even told them she had named the baby “Genesis”! How beautiful to find out about one of the MANY babies that are sure to be alive because God used us to change hearts and minds…that we never even knew about!
Finally, we were thrilled to find out from Saturday morning volunteers that PP was unexpectedly CLOSED! So, the rest of the Saturday volunteers “got the day off”…and no babies died there on Saturday!
We have some needs for this week and next that I hope you will consider helping us with. This week we need:
Tuesday (Today!) – Fr. Jeremy has no one to stand with him from 4-5pm!
Wednesday (Tomorrow) – Dave has no one to stand with him from 3-4pm!
Saturday – Sue has no one to be with her from 10-11am!
Wednesday, May 26th – No one to be with Chris from 2:30-3pm and no one to be with Dave from 3-4pm
Friday, May 28th – We currently have NO ONE AT ALL from 7:30-9am!
Saturday, May 29th – Jason needs someone to be with him from 2-2:30pm!
If you can help with any of these times, please contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please disregard any “automated email reminders that may come from the 40 Days for life calendar…we are working to fix them, but the system continues to send reminder emails for times that had been entered a while ago for recurring shifts that are not correct. Sorry for the confusion and thank you for your patience! If you are signed up for a time at PP, you will get a personal email from Greg, Jen, or myself. We are not using Sign-up Genius or the online calendar at this time, while we continue to find the best possible way to track the schedule of volunteers.
Thank you and may God bless you!