What I’m Reading Today: Luke 11:29-54
When I was on my path toward ordination, I had the pleasure of working with an experienced pastor named Tom who taught me much. In addition to spending several years as a local pastor, Tom had also spent time working as a denominational official. Given that most of his years in ministry were in Montana, it’s not surprising that Tom had a wonderfully folksy wisdom about him.
Tom taught me the single most important lesson about ministry that I ever learned – and the entire lesson was contained in a single sentence. “People don’t care how much you know,” Tom said one day, “until they know how much you care.” That lesson grounds me in the practice of ministry each and every day.
In some ways, Jesus was playing with that concept in today’s passage from Luke. “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars,” Jesus began. “You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their back,” he added. And then he brings it home with his final observation: “but [you] never lift even a finger to help.”
Today I would invite you to examine some of the relationships in your life. Perhaps there is one relationship in particular that’s out of kilter – a relationship where it feels as if there is some sort of power struggle going on. Maybe that power struggle is related to who knows more, or is more competent in an area.
If you find yourself in such a place, take a step back and look for opportunities to demonstrate not your level of knowledge – but your degree of concern for the person. Maybe – just maybe- that shift in approach will transform the quality of the relationship.
Til next time…