This past Sunday, our Pastor preached what was one of, if not his best sermon since he has been at our church. It was thoughtful, to the point, and challenging to your spiritual growth. The text of the message was over Luke 2:41-50, where we find Jesus in the temple. I urge you to go back and read this passage, but let me sum it up. Mary & Joseph took their family to Jerusalem on their yearly trip to celebrate the Passover. After they completed their stay, Mary & Joseph, their friends and family left Jerusalem for home. After they had traveled for a day they realized every parent’s worst nightmare- THEY HAD LOST JESUS. Now, before we get DCS involved here, you must understand that a) it’s easier to do than you think and b) it was A LOT easier to do then, because they traveled to these festivals in large groups- the parents likely figured Jesus was off playing with the other children. When they found the 12 year old Jesus in the temple they did what any other parent would do, they gave Jesus a good scolding. The response that Jesus gives them is one of the most powerful statements about who we are and what we should be doing. Jesus replies in verse 49: “…’Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Now, I can tell you that if Michael or Aaron had responded to me with that answer, I would have no doubt come unglued; but as much as I adore both of my boys, neither of them happen to be the Son of God nor the Savior of the world. Jesus’s words resonated with me like it never had before and then & there I knew what I would write about next.
We mind our own business way too much and we need to stop. To stop and read that sentence, initially shocks the senses because all we have ever been told is to mind our own business. This practice has to come to an end because it is not what we were meant to do. Now, this is not a license to stick your nose into everyone’s private life and business, what I am talking about is being about our Father’s business. Too often, we sit by and play the role of spectator, or fan, while missed opportunities to further God’s Kingdom pass us by. We talk ourselves out of being about God’s business because we don’t want to judge (which by the way I can not stand that word anymore because it has lost its meaning- people no longer understand the difference between compassion and condescension- but I digress). It is so much easier to mind our own business and not get involved in someone life, someone who may need Jesus or may simply need to see Jesus. We fret about what they might say or that a friend may stop liking us because we show them Christ. I’m here to tell you that I have lost more friends showing them Christ than I care to count, but that can not deter us our task at hand. We need to be about Kingdom business. When we make the decision to be about God’s business and stop being bystanders, things change, they get unfamiliar and uncomfortable; and that is usually enough to freeze us in our tracks and send us back to minding our own business.
When we choose to be about our Father’s business, however, so much happens- doors open, the Spirit moves, and God’s Kingdom flourishes. When we choose to be about our Father’s business, priorities change. We begin to see the importance of putting God first in our lives. We begin to realize that our greatest tool of evangelism isn’t our words, it’s our lives and what they reflect. By making God a priority, we reflect the love of Christ in all that we do, say, and portray. Nothing is faked and our lives become genuine. That kind of life can not be hidden and soon, other will notice and want what you have. If we choose to mind our own business, people do not see Christ as priority in your life; and if He isn’t a priority in your life, why would they see a need to have Christ in their life?
When we choose to be about our Father’s Kingdom, schedules change. As a youth pastor, a huge struggle for us is work schedules with our older teens. I inevitably get the, “they just scheduled me- I tell them I want off, but they won’t give me Sunday’s and Wednesday’s off.” My response is always, “you don’t have to work there- there are other jobs out there.” Now, I know the pressures on teens to work and have that money, so I try not to be too pushy with it, but the bottom line is I don’t back down either. When we are about our God’s business, nothing gets in the way of meeting God in His house. This isn’t just for teens either. Adults, if being a part of a church isn’t important to you, it won’t be important to your children either. If being about God’s business isn’t worth changing your schedule, then it won’t be to anybody you share Christ with either.
Lastly, when we choose to be about God’s business, lives are transformed. Who gave us the opportunities in life? Who gave us the job that we have and who continually provides for our needs? That’s right- God. When we realize that all that we are, all that we have, and all that we will ever be sits squarely in the hands of the Creator that blesses us far beyond what we deserve, it is humbling. My favorite Christmas movie’s main character learned this the hard way- a man by the name of Ebeneezer Scrooge (I am partial to George C. Scott’s version of Scrooge- there is just something magical about General Patton playing Scrooge).
God’s business, is what needs to be our priority. We need to get off the sidelines, stop minding our own business, and start being about the work of the Kingdom of God. In the end, Jacob Marley had it right when he told old Ebeneezer:
“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business! “
I know of another that felt that mankind was their business and I thank God daily that Jesus was willing to die on a cross for me, and that He made a sinner like me, HIS business. It is high time, we stop minding our own business and start being about the business of our Father.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach