This week’s article is written by Mike Solomon, youth pastor at Godfrey First Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
There are times when the world can seem like a hopeless place to me. Stories of poverty, hunger, racial and religiously motivated violence, and systemic injustice can begin to drain my faith in humanity and my optimism for the future. Sadly, I’m probably not alone in these feelings. The world can be a dark place and emotions such as joy, and our confidence in a better tomorrow, can take a beating. So how can we find a sense of joyfulness in the midst of so much negativity and sadness?
Jesus tells a story about three servants in Matthew 25 who are each given large sums of money to care for by their master before he departs on a long trip. Each of the servants handles the money differently; the first two get to work and double their employer’s money, while the third hides the cash. When the master returns he is disappointed and angry with the third servant for doing nothing with his investment and punishes him by casting him out in to a place of hopelessness. Here’s what the master says to the other two servants in verses 21 and 23, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
The message to me is clear: serving the Master with what you’ve been given leads to joy and celebration! When we use the gifts and abilities that our Heavenly Master gives us to serve others, we will experience true joy. When the darkness of the world seems to push in on us, it’s our job to take the light of Christ, push back, and then celebrate!