As Advent comes to a close and the practice of waiting gives over to a final anticipation on Christmas Eve, I invite you to take a moment and think with me about the necessity and joy of collaboration in ministry.
This moment in the church year is one that celebrates one of the most beautiful collaborations by God with humanity. The entire nativity story that the church has been rehearsing each week in Advent bears witness to the beauty of God’s co-laboring with all of creation.
The biblical stories are all crowded with divine collaboration and partnership with unlikely characters like Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachariah, and innkeepers and shepherds, as well as messengers with holy ideas and surprisingly sacred annoucements.
God’s collaboration with creation and especially with humanity, however, can go amiss. And in ministry we know it oh so well… when we start planning special holy-day services, depend on people for a great variety of tasks, or gather with families in crisis and grief. Then collaboration can seem anything but obvious. Missed communications, misunderstood meanings, a plethora of differing expectations can fill the air, making ministry seem nearly impossible.
Yet when human collaborations are at their best, when we take time to understand each other and work patiently, they can demonstrate the wonder of God’s presence in our work. For a story about collaboration in the production of the Saint John’s Bible, take a look at Episode 4 of 3MMM.
Speaking of collaboration, I want to take time to thank collaborators on the 3MMM project: Ben Saunders, of Adelicia Company for videography and production, Rachel Ford for marketing and social sharing, and Adam D.J. Brett for web and technical support. They are making this adventure in teaching, learning and ministry support possible! I am grateful beyond measure.
See you next week. And if you missed earlier episodes of 3MMM, you can catch them today! Just three minutes each!
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Blessings for all of your ministry collaborations in the coming week of Christmastide!