Deacons, you are shepherds of the people of God, along with the priests – leaders who will model the care that the shepherd extends to the sheep. Together, we are all called to expose spiritual dangers, such as those of excess and waste. We must show what the restoration of a just relationship with all creation might look like – how to live as caretakers, how to bring glimpses of shalom.
And yet, if this puts the deacon perpetually in the position of host, a critical dimension is lost. Jesus gave to the Pharisee and to the woman the gift of His wisdom, His grace and His forgiveness. However, Jesus was also guest: He received from the woman and from the Pharisee alike. This recognition fundamentally challenges the imbalance of power between a person with needs and a person (or diaconate) with resources.
It is impossible to try and disconnect the miracles and teaching of Jesus from His heart for justice. At every turn, at every miracle, His words and actions are shaped by a desire to make things right, to reconcile, to restore.
The hopeful vision of justice for the poor and marginalized, the possibility of a better life or of new possibilities is grounded in a more hopeful vision of a world renewed and redeemed by God, transformed and perfect. This is the true source of hope.
To be moved with compassion means a certain vulnerability. It means allowing God to break your heart for the people around you. But, before all of that, it means cultivating a heart like the heart of God.
By giving everything, the widow is also expressing her dependence on God. Part of what Jesus is doing here is subtly shifting the object lesson from wealth to true value.
In strong partnerships, each partner has something important to contribute. Paul knows that the church in Philippi supports him through prayer (vs. 19), and will also “stand firm” (vs. 27) for the gospel. Paul realizes that his encouragement and teaching are also important to the church (vs. 24). Together, as partners, Paul and the church encourage and pray for each other and work from their strengths to advance the gospel together.
Deacons, you have an important leadership role in the church! As you are examples and mentors of service, and encourage your congregation to serve, you will bless your community and be blessed in return. Commit this to God and resolve to lead as God has called you.
From Diaconal Ministries Canada Go TO the people Live among THEM Learn from THEM Love THEM Start with what THEY know Build on what THEY have: But of the best leaders When their task is done The people will remark "WE have done it ourselves."