Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 2nd July 2023: Instructions to Christians

Ministry Matthew 10 Jesus Pastoral care

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 10


Jesus said, ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


When someone reaches their 100th birthday in Great Britain they can get a congratulations card from the King and Queen, and even though it may be sent by a secretary it's a nice idea, to receive a card addressed to the centenarian. If a message of congratulations had been sent in the time of Jesus, one difference other than speed, is that the messenger would have been received as though they were the message sender themself. So to be respectful to an ambassador, for instance, was to be respectful to the king or the emperor who sent the message.

In July we are reminded of those who are being ordained or licensed as ministers in God's church*. Not all of us are called to this work, but Jesus points out that everyone can help those who are called to be ministers. He says that when we welcome someone whom God has called to minister to His people, it is as though we are welcoming God .

We cannot all be prophets; we cannot all be priests; but we can all help those who are called to this work. We can offer simple hospitality, thoughtful gestures, kindness, and prayer. Over my ministry I have been aided by many people - those who listened when I was fed up, gave me a cup of tea when I was exhausted, paid for a holiday in Cumbria, loaned me books, and undoubtedly prayed for me. This week may we find ways to help all our church leaders.

* (I am thinking of the leaders of all Christian denominations, whatever title we give them).


Lord Jesus Christ,
we pray today for all who serve
Your Church and in doing so
serve You.
May we never forget that
in welcoming them we welcome You;
and in assisting them
we are assisting You.

Follow Up Thoughts

In 2020 the Church of England made a 'Covenant for the Care and Wellbeing of Clergy'. This is a 16 page document, but you might like to consider these four questions whatever your denomination:

  • What do you expect of your ordained ministers? How realistic and reasonable are these expectations, and have you discussed them with your ministers?
  • How do you encourage your ordained ministers to give the best of themselves in their care of others?
  • How can you help ordained ministers to spot or avoid developing unhealthy patterns of work and ministry (e.g. overworking and not taking time off!)?
  • How do you support the ministry of your ordained minister and their families/households if disability and/or health problems limit what they are able to do, or at times when extra help might be welcomed?
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