All of us are ministers because we all carry the unique signature of God’s presence within us. Re-conceiving our lives themselves as “ministry” is the journey of the soul and the purpose of all healthy religions. This stuff called MINISTRY isn’t just for formally ordained folks and other clergy!
And regarding life and ministry, I hear many people say, “This pandemic has changed everything.” Yes, indeed. It has given serious amounts of Sabbath rest and reflection for some—and has downrightly up-ended the contents of life for others. Sometimes both.
To find an intelligent and authentic way forward, regardless of the kinds of changes that have arrived at your door, it can be helpful to allow yourself to “make soul soup” regularly. This is, where, in time set outside of regular “GO-DO-GO! time,” you allow yourself to marinate in the herbs and spices and broth on hand to bring out your own unique God-flavor. Centering down into Being brings the opportunity to re-shape the way we re-enter “GO-DO-GO! time”. Making soul soup helps us to re-conceive each day of our lives as ministry—even if the only person you feel semi-equipped to take care of today is your own self!
During Pandemic Time, one set of herbs I’ve found helpful is the daily lectionary. These thematically-linked readings each day from the OT, Psalms, Gospels, and NT invite me to wrestle with sometimes archaic-sounding parts of scripture to help me make meaning of my choices and perceptions in the world TODAY. It’s totally awesome. Sometimes I finish my note-taking after 15 minutes and wish I had a group of people doing this with me so that I could glean from others’ insights, since mine feel so sparse. But usually I am amazed at what I learn from the whispers of Spirit. (https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=A is Vanderbilt Divinity Library’s source for the Revised Common Lectionary). Here’s what one of today’s readings reminded me. (After I read, I try to put the text into meaning for my own life today):
My take-away translation from Ephesians 6: 10-18 — The Whole Armor of God
Be strong in the active use of Consciousness in your life and the strength of its power. Put on the whole armor of Consciousness so that you may be able to stand against the cleverness of the ego, because it is the collective unconsciousness of the planet we are pushing against, we’re not fighting against human beings.
Fasten the belt of truth: (know yourself as a unique form of Consciousness itself—-this is the truth we learned through the incarnation)
Put on the breastplate of righteousness: (be in alignment with God-Consciousness through your non-violent actions toward self and other)
Shoes: (put on each day whatever you need to proclaim this peaceful Way of living in trustful relationship with the world and each other)
Shield of faith: (use protection and forgiveness to quench the flames from the words and actions from others’ inadvertent and unskillful egoic arrows)
Helmet of salvation: (salus=healing; bring along each day your own experiences of God’s healing in your own life)
Sword of the Spirit: (here’s where reading scripture is helpful—it helps us to know what God-Consciousness expects of us as we are each currently manifested in our lives, but interconnected with everyone else’s)
May your day of gathering herbs and spices for this broth of Pandemic Time prove to be renewing to you in strong ways, friend. May you know what an important bowl of soup you are.