And Yeshua said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to leave?” Shimeon Kaypha answered and said, “My Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and know that you are The Messiah, The Son of THE LIVING GOD.” (John 6:67-69. Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
As I contemplated my sermon for last Sunday, I could not get this verse out of my mind. I ended up preaching something entirely different, but I felt that I neglected what the Spirit really wanted me to say. So I am going to say it now.
I have had many people who have encouraged me over the years to leave the ministry. Some say that I need to focus on taking care of the financial needs of my family. Others claim that being a minister is not a real job. But when it is all said and done, they just want to see me leave the ministry altogether.
I will not lie; over the years I have considered quitting many times. It is tempting to leave the work and responsibility of shepherding souls for a less stressful and less demanding job. But I come back to the same place each time I consider it. “To who shall we go?”
I realize that being a minister is not the most glamorous job in the world. A dear friend and fellow cleric told me that when he announced to his parents that he was seeking ordination they exclaimed that he had found a way to scam people out of their money. This so upset me that for the first several years of my ministry I did not ask for donations, nor did I even accept offerings.
This, of course, led me to bankruptcy. That is when my extended family started working to get me to get “a real job”. They said I needed to put away this foolishness and start living in the real world. But in the back of my mind I could hear the word of Peter, “To whom shall we go?”
That is the question each of us needs to ask ourselves on a daily basis. “To whom shall we go?” And why should we ask that question; because “You have the words of eternal life.” If we turn our backs on the call of Christ in our lives, we are ultimately turning our backs on the words of eternal life!
To follow Jesus is considered by some to be a fool’s errand. But for me, it is about finding the path to eternal life. It is about a reward that last forever. It is about spending eternity with the ones I love in everlasting paradise.
So I am willing to accept some temporary hardships and trials if it means I can spend eternity with Christ.
After all, “To whom shall we go?”