This week, I’m offering prayers of thanksgiving for those “behind the scenes” people that make stuff happen.
This past Sunday, Ms. Sandy Graci gave me a wonderful idea for Children’s Time. We got to hear about the tradition that tells us that a lowly donkey transported Mary into Bethlehem just before the birth of Jesus. Most of us don’t often think of the donkey as a prominent animal, but the reality is, God’s Word tells in other places of the importance of this “behind the scenes” animal. For example, in the New Testament, we can read about Jesus, our King of kings and Lord of lords, making a triumphal entry into the holy city of Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, a story we mark yearly in church on Palm Sunday. In the Old Testament Book of Numbers, God even causes a donkey to SPEAK!
Throughout the Scripture, the donkey seems to be a “behinds the scenes” animal whose contribution probably wouldn’t be noticeable until or unless the donkey failed to show up for its assignment. I can tell you, and I say this with love and deep respect, our church has lots of donkeys—folks who we probably don’t easily recognize as playing so prominent a role in our operations because what they do is usually done behind the scenes.
I’d like to challenge you. Between now and the end of the year, begin to take notice at church and in the world around you, of the people who are playing a prominent role “behind the scenes” to make things happen—and when you find them, tell them “Thank you!” and let them know how much you appreciate them.
At church, take notice. Who is it that is always there to greet you with a bulletin? Who is it that keeps our floors sparkling and our bathrooms clean? Do you know who trims the hedges that surround our buildings? Even if you don’t have a child, are you still aware of just who takes care of our children while you’re in Sunday worship? Do you know who writes out checks to pay our monthly bills? Have you noticed how beautifully our Eucharistic elements are displayed on the Table of the Lord’s Altar when we celebrate the Sacrament? Ever notice who picks up and cleans up after Holy Communion? What about those flowers that show up every week and adorn our sanctuary?
I’m not even sure I’m beginning to scratch the surface of the team of donkeys at Good Shepherd, but this week, I’m offering prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude for each and every one of them and I’m asking you to join me in doing the same! And I’m asking you to do this: When you see a donkey, tell them “Thank you!” and let them know how much you appreciate them.
My prayer: Lord, help us all to learn to be donkeys to the glory of your Holy Name! Amen.