Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Can Christ count you as a cadre member of his campaign team, or merely a likely supporter? He’s really looking for cadres as opposed to just merely supporters. His aim is to build a team that will win the battle over Satan, not just hope he’ll go away.
My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
When I was running for the State Assembly nearly a decade ago I ran into two types of people who supported my campaign. One group, I will call them the cadre, donated money to the campaign, signed nomination petitions, and made sure that they voted in the primary. The other group, let’s call them the supporters, did these things as well for the most part. What differentiated the cadre from the supporter however was distinctly defining. Cadre members not only donated money, they asked others to donate money as well. In addition to signing a nominations petition they received blank copies of the petition to circulate and collect signatures in addition to their own. Cadre members could not only be counted on to vote in the primary, you could count on them to go door to door with literature urging others to vote. The night of the election they would man the phones and call voters to make sure that they didn’t forget to vote. There were even a few members of the cadre who volunteered to manage aspect of the campaign by being overseers. I had a treasurer and a campaign manager, for example. While I needed supporters, cadre were a critical need. You can’t win a political primary without a cadre of active campaigners surrounding you. You hope that your supporters will at least turn out to vote; you know that the cadre will vote and do so much more.
Jesus took one of his supporters, Peter, and urged him to become a cadre when he asked in John 21: “Again Jesus said, ‘Simon, son of John, do you truly love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep . . .’” Up until that moment Jesus knew that he could count on Peter to support him. He knew that Peter would follow him. Jesus, however, wanted more than this from those who merely loved him and followed him; he would extract service from them, unapologetically and with a declarative voice. Does he speak to you that way?
Here’s a story. Soren Kierkagaard, one of Germany’s greatest theologians and cadre of Christ wrote. “‘I went into church and sat on the velvet pew. I watched as the sun came shining through the stained glass windows. The minister dressed in a velvet robe opened the golden gilded Bible, marked it with a silk bookmark and said, ‘If any man will be my disciple, said Jesus, let him deny himself, take up his cross, sell what he has, give it to the poor, and follow me.’ At the time sitting seemed quite awkward.’” (Source unknown.)
Sitting ought to seem awkward when moving is what Christ had in mind, not holy comfort. When I put together my campaign team years ago I had my mind set on finding as many supporters as possible who would consent to become part of a team of cadres willing to do the work that it takes to get a candidate through a primary and elected into office. That meant calling them, empowering them, and tasking them to sacrifice of their time, resources and talent in order to reach as many people as possible with the message of the campaign. All too often today Christians are more concerned with comfort than with service. They’re perfectly content with supporting Christ and leaving the working for him part to others, content in their creeds and willing to worship, but little else. Ask yourself this: Is Christ calling me to merely support him or to work for him? The answer is obvious. “Feed my sheep.” That is a messy and time consuming job in even the least part.
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We pray. Thank you Lord for calling us to serve you in a way that is challenging because, as you have said, the job is hard and often requiring of us self-sacrifice, even persecution. Forgive us when we become content with just showing up in a pew, dropping an envelope in a plate, and then going home, secure in the knowledge that others will do the hard part for us. Remind us daily that “feeding the sheep” takes personal commitment. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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