Pastor’s Perspective 05-14-19

This is the season of graduations. Mothers’ Day weekend seems to be the weekend of choice for many college graduation ceremonies. I spoke with someone Sunday who had already been to two. He commented that both had challenged the graduates to go out and change the world. That certainly sounds like an appropriate challenge and a worthy goal. But how exactly does one do that?
Some of you may be aware that we have had quite a few funerals in recent weeks. As I provide pastoral care to the family and work with them to prepare my comments for the “celebration of life” for their loved ones, it is natural to reflect on the significance of the individual’s life. The last two funerals I’ve done were for a school teacher and an attorney. There is no doubt that teachers have a huge influence on the students that sit in their classrooms. There are many heartwarming stories of teachers who have had a life-changing impact on some of their students. The attorney practiced law for 60 years. He was recently recognized by his colleagues for a lifetime of pro bono service. His reputation and work was a testimony to his Christian faith.
I learned last week of another death of a man I never met, but who influenced my life significantly. Warren Wiersbe was a Bible teacher, pastor, author and mentor to countless pastors. I have his entire Bible commentary set and am always anxious to gain his insights on any particular text as I prepare my sermons. If I could have only one Bible commentary, his is the one I would choose. A prolific author, Wiersbe has written other books, many to encourage other pastors and lay people in living out their calling. What I did not know, but does not surprise me, is that Wiersbe came to Christ after hearing Billy Graham preach at a Youth for Christ rally. Another man who has profoundly influenced my life and ministry from a distance. It was a joy of a lifetime to meet him in person at his last crusade in Flushing Meadows, New York.
The truth is only Jesus Christ can change the world. He can and will use us as His change agents when we find our purpose and calling in Him and as we live out that calling by investing in the lives of people all around us.
See you Sunday as we honor our graduates! ~ John