On the Occassion on the Opening of our Pastoral Care Centre
SERMON # SIXTEEN AUGUST 2018
On the occasion of the opening of our Pastoral Care Centre
“O God, you have gifted us with so much
We thank you for your grace and love,
in Jesus name. Amen”
Many people are ‘burdened.’ They may struggle with emotional issues, or physical or financial or sometimes a combination of these. When they do find themselves burdened many people look to the church to help them to connect with God so that their burdens may be lifted. When they do so the church may become for them like a building site: Filled with all kinds of obstacles over which they may fall, making connecting with God very difficult. The church may in fact be like a Pharisee. Pharisees are those people who always demand something from a person coming for help (Stop drinking and then come back or are you a member here and do you worship regularly or go and clean yourself and then come back or it is not appropriate for you to now ask for help – we are after all now praying) before they will actually address the needs of the person concerned. Jesus shows us to be different – to first help the person and then look at all the other things.
People and their needs matter for God and this is the very basic starting point from which we must work. This means that as far as our Pastoral Care Centre is concerned we must people and their needs first. We must not add to their burden by making all kinds of demands before we actually start to help. This does not means that Pharisees don’t care for people and their needs or that Jesus did not have any rules to follow in helping people but one must start somewhere and we start from either the one or the other. Our Pastoral Care Centre is thus a place where people can come to just as they are and we will do our utmost to be of assistance.
In the end the greatest burden that people can have is that of not being able to connect with God when they are in need. We must make it possible for people to meet with God when they come here. It is only then that they can start dealing with all their other issues. We must not put stumbling blocks in people’s way to know and experience God meeting them in their needs. We have received so much from God. God has gifted us with love and mercy and grace and so much more. We must now give to others what God has given us.
“Gracious God, help us to live with a deep gratitude towards you for all you are doing for us. Let our Pastoral Care Centre be a place of welcome and filled with your presence. Help us to go about our work in ways that will help people to find you so that you may minister to them. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen”