Summary: LAITY - The congregation - Role in Ministry
Let us pray.
Loving Heavenly Father,
We have come to worship you today. Lord, teach us the hidden wonders of your Holy Word. Help us to concentrate and focus on your voice without distractions. Put in us an open receiving heart. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.
Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise’” (Lk. 10:37)
Likewise – Do the same. So what happened previously?
This is an incident all of us are familiar with right from our childhood.
A person teaching law – a lawyer came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus asked him what he read from the Law of Moses and what his understanding was.
The lawyer responded like this.
Luke:10:27: ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Jesus instructed him to follow this so that he shall live.
The lawyer wanted to justify what he said and asked, Jesus, Who is my neighbour?
Jesus then narrates the famous Samaritan parable and finishes with a question.
36 So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?”.
For which the man answers, He who showed mercy on him..
And then Jesus answers, “Go and do likewise.”
So now with this in the background, let’s get into the topic for today.
MINISTRY OF THE LAITY.
So who are the LAITY?
All of us who are part of the church apart from the clergy, or ordained ministers. Or Pastors form the LAITY.
LAITY – This word is never mentioned in the bible. So when did it come into existence?
In the early Christian church, all the believers were leaders and servants. But as the Church grew, people wanted representatives of God amongst themselves and chose few to act a Priests, or Fathers or Pastors and lead them to God. Eventually the clergy became the ones on the pulpit and the altar and the remaining became the LAITY or lay people.
But our topic says Ministry of the Laity.
The Christian church today strongly believes that the mission of God cannot be limited to only the clergy but the role of the LAITY is more crucial.
With reference to the bible passage we discussed earlier let us understand and see how the laity needs to pursue the ministry of God.
Two Characters from the passage we read.
Lawyer – Character one.
What did this law teacher do?
Verse 25 says He tested Jesus. Verse 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
From the story we understand that this person clearly knows the Law of Moses by heart. And could relate two various commandments into one
First is the command mentioned in Dt 6:5,
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
And the second can be found in Lev 19:18 which says:
18 " ’Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the LORD .
But still he wanted to test Jesus. His intention was to hinder the ministry of Jesus by trying to find fault and accuse Jesus.
In our Church today, how many of us can associate with this Lawyer?
Bible says, Mathew: 7: 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Are we being a hindrance to ministry around us due to our complaining nature?
James: 5: 9 do not grumble against one another,
Story of The arts student boy and his painting.
So it is easy to lead anyone away from Christ with our criticising attitude. If we have nothing right or good today about something in Church, let us remain silent and not complain. It will be a great ministry.
Proverbs: 15:1. A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Let our words and actions not hinder ministry like how the lawyer did.
Second Character is the Samaritan
Let us look at few things that the Samaritan did.
The Priest and the Levi who passed the wounded man did not want to make themselves unclean ceremoniously.
But the Samaritan did not care to get out of his comfort Zone and make adjustments to help the wounded person.
Am I active in ministry today even if I had to step out of my comfort zone?, or make major adjustments?
Story of the car and the tires.
Or do we want to be involved in ministry only in our comfort zone without any major adjustments.