8In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Thes 5:)
There are those in the limelight who are accustomed to receiving thanks on a regular basis. And it is certainly appropriate that they do receive such recognition and praise, for without them there would be no church as we experience it. What would a church be without a pastor, without its elders, its deacons, and without its teachers and missionaries both local and abroad?
Yes, these are indeed praiseworthy positions to hold, but there are others of the church, not so obvious, not so recognized, and yet essential to the well-being of every church or organization. These faithful and dedicated people work behind the scenes with no other purpose in mind than to provide support and comfort to all, including those of us who do little or nothing to aid in the functioning of the church.
Consider the choir, imagine the time they spend in practice for what they present to us weekly. Even though they are quite visible as they provide praise to the Lord on our behalf, the efforts they exert to provide that praise and worship is not often seen nor spoken of.
What would we do without those on the prayer chain that we think little of except when we have a serious problem we desperately need help with? When we, or a loved one is in the hospital, or imprisoned, or our funds have run low and we find ourselves unemployed, we are so very grateful to those who visit us and send cards of condolences. But what of their efforts when we are not in need? The effort continues even though you and I are no longer experiencing a crises or in harm's way.
We receive phone calls expressing concern when we happen to miss a meeting without having given advanced notice, just to insure we are not in ill health. We find birthday and other such cards in our mailbox on a regular basis. We are handed bulletins as we enter the door of the church informing us of that which we can expect for the coming hour or so, as well as events that will be taking place, both for our benefit, and for the benefit of others in the community. These apparently insignificant items must be carefully and punctually produced by someone who is watching for the needs and the events taking place around us that the rest of us are completely ignorant concerning.
The new paint on the nursery walls, the audio, visuals that are so much a part of what is presented to us, the floor that seems to mysteriously remain so spotless, and the bus that somehow arrives on Sunday morning loaded with youngsters from distant points in town.
Don't we love the wonderful food provided the hungry young and old that magically materializes out of nowhere at luncheons and other such occasions, and that must be cleaned and put away after the festivities have ended. The ladies and gentlemen who provide for our wants at these times, as faithful servants, wait for all to eat to their fill before they partake of what they have so lovingly and efficiently prepared just for us.
All these activities, and many others not mentioned, are the effort of those working in the background, unseen and essentially unnoticed, and often few in number serving the many, all the while not receiving, nor expecting praise nor appreciation.
Do we know who it is that faithfully performs these seemingly unimportant duties? Do we ever give notice, leastwise acknowledge their sacrifice? They, too, as do you and I, could be retiring at home in front of a TV or playing with their children and grandchildren, duly expecting others to do that which we so easily take for granted. But they choose instead to do their part rather than look to their own comfort.
These apparently tireless people who faithfully perform these duties, unpaid and with no recompense, are providing essential services the church could ill do without. Do you know who it is that is serving the church, and thereby you, in these capacities? Do you care who it is that is working behind the scenes to make sure the church runs as it should? I must confess, I do not perform any of these duties, but I am always on hand to partake of the efforts of these giving people.
There is not much in the way I, or you, nor anyone else can do to show our appreciation to these faithful people, other than offer a word of recognition and appreciation when the occasion presents itself. However, there is one other thing some of us can do to demonstrate our appreciation, and I am fortunate to be in a position to do just that. And thus, this public letter of appreciation.
Thank you dear ladies and gentlemen for your dedication and faithfulness. We truly do appreciate you.
1When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Mat 25:)
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