When I first arrived, I was overwhelmed. The school was a mess. It had neither been cleaned or maintained, obviously, in a very long time. That piece needed to be attended to….
The students at the school were desperately in need of teaching. They had had no instruction for years, and had been asked to read and to study as best they could, until the “new missionary” got there. There were other professors, but they didn’t seem to be terribly concerned about advancing anyone’s education. That piece needed to be attended to….
The francophone congregation in the place in which we would be worshiping hadn’t had pastoral service for years, and it was clear that there was an expectation that I should do something to solve that problem. That piece needed to be attended to….
So many things were in need of attention, that it wasn’t clear where to start.
Upon reflection, when one thinks back to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, it’s not immediately evident where he needed (or wanted) to devote his time and effort. Where should he begin? In fact, the four gospel accounts differ as to what Jesus did first. The gospel of Matthew has him teaching. The sermon on the mount is a masterful piece of instruction on living a godly life, shared with a huge multitude of people who were hungry and thirst for truth in the face of a corrupt and deteriorating society. He begins by reminding us of how blessed we all are!