One of the beauties of pregnancy is seeing “the glow” that an expecting mother takes on at a certain stage–a radiant beauty and grace that comes from deep within her expectant soul. Her face seems to radiate with God’s grace. (I recently emailed my youngest daughter, who is expecting, to tell her she has that “glow”–it’s definitely there!)
I’ve observed over the years that so many passionate Christians who are truly excited about Christ and their faith journeys have a certain “glow.”
I’ve also observed that many such passionate, grace-filled and radiant people aren’t prone to grumble or gossip about the pastor’s allegedly boring sermons or the church’s latest program or the proposed color of the carpet in the new sanctuary.
Such Christians are ministerial self-starters who stimulate and inspire the pastor himself or herself to be more passionate and excited for Christ. They lift up the congregation to a higher, more vigorous level because they are passionate about the only thing at church that matters:
We’ve all seen those Christian disciples who are way up in the years who have so much passion and vigor that they seem far younger than their age and who, indeed, can run circles around people half their age or younger.
In Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” Mary the Mom of Jesus looks very much younger than Jesus himself, even though she had to be pushing 50. Asked why he presented such a young Mary, Michelangelo said, “Those who are passionate for God never age!”
There’s something at church or in your faith walk that you can do that awaits your initiative–your passion–to ignite it and excite others for Christ. Once you find your own passion, you have the power to be the minister, with your unique gifts and graces and talents, that you are called to be. (And we Protestants, by the way, are Protestants largely because we believe in the ministry of all believers.)
You and all of us who are Christians have the power to inspire the body of Christ–and that’s what the church is: the body of Christ, as imperfect as it is.
Find what it is in your faith walk that gets you excited; explore those things that you think might fire up your passion on behalf of Christ. Find what gets you waking up in the morning and saying, “Oh God!” in an energetic, vigorous way, not “Oh God!” as in, “Oh, God–not another Monday.”
And may you, like Mary and those vigorous, youthful and radiant “old folks” at your church whose faces radiate in the manner of Old Man Moses, be forever young.
Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them.
— Ex. 34: 29-31