“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, COMPLETE MY JOY, by being of the same mind and having the same love and being in full accord and of one mind. “Phillipians 2:1-2
Like any other professional week, marketers burn with creative ideas and products to promote “pastor’s appreciation week”. Cards and cups and canisters, banners, plaques and brochures scream “we appreciate you Pastor”. Church folks buy and give with hearts bent in thanksgiving for all that God did through their pastor during the year. But, somehow , deeply groaning, the Holy Spirit cries in the soul that there is an appreciation to give apart from what the temporal world would offer other professions. Somehow, deeply, we know in our “inner man” , that there is something greater that THE LORD would give our pastors ,through us , in appreciation for their zeal in love and labor.
Perhaps, this concept is older than the modern marketer can trace. Perhaps , Pastor’s appreciation is a call from God through the Pastor Paul many seasons ago. From Phillipians ,we see ,that it is not so much a convention or ritual of Christian church folks as it is a plea from a pastor himself. Pastor Paul cries out for a gift that he wants given to him by his church. He wants the gift of “complete Joy” that only a church, under the unified headship of Jesus, can give. This is a plea not for a glory that ends with the adoration of the pastor but a plea that ends with the adoration of Jesus.
A pastor is surely filled with joy that the Lord Himself gives him directly through an anointing in his spirit . And certainly, our Pastor, Chris Peterson, is a lively mage of a pastor with a “joy unspeakable and full of glory” But the words from Paul, who also had a great joy from a divine anointing, hint at a joy that is actually incomplete. He seems to call for it to be completed by the church’s submission to Jesus. This “Submission “echoes from wall to wall , from ceiling to floor , to us every Sunday, as Pastor Chris calls surrendered hearts to fall in the hand of a Loving Father, in obedience to the voice of the Shepherd Jesus.
So ,what can we really eternally give our pastor? We can only offer ourselves , our “everything” to Jesus. Then, as each individual soul comes to fall before a One Father, hearing the One Voice of the Shepherd, in the Power of the Person of the Holy Ghost, unity manifests. Submission will result in our oneness. And our oneness will produce “complete joy” in our Pastor.
May we enter a season of complete joy for our pastor and his family as we have like minded ,surrenderd ,eyes and hearts fixed on Jesus!!