Sharing in joy and sorrow!
One of the more frustrating things for a Pastor to deal with is having members who do not wish to share information with him about their lives. It is almost as if there is an element of secrecy which exists between Pastor and his congregation members. What I mean by this statement is this: Time and time again congregants will have a loss in their family, be experiencing a difficulty in their life be it a health concern, family situation, or struggle in their job, and they never reach out to their Pastor so he might be able to walk alongside of them and pray for them in their time of need. In fact, what a blessing it could be to have the Pastor pray for the individual or family during the altar prayers in worship, even if it is done in an anonymous context. Certainly, the Lord knows who the person/people are, even though the identities are not revealed by the Pastor to the assembly of believers.
We are members of the same church family, members of the Christian community, and members of the Body of Christ. The Apostle Paul, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, conveys to us in Romans 12:15 this message, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”. Not only are we, as people of God, to support one another in times of sorrow or difficulty, but we are also supposed to be excited and enthusiastic about rejoicing with each other in times of joy and celebration. Why then, dear saints, should it be so hard for us to be open to one another concerning what is going on in each other’s lives. This should not be so.
I sincerely hope there would be a true passion and desire for us, as brothers and sisters in the faith, to talk with each other and walk with each other as we make our way through this earthly adventure called life. Loving thy neighbor as thy self is what this type of interaction is all about. Jesus really did know what He was talking about, when it came to giving us advice on how to live a more God-pleasing and fulfilling life. Pastor McCarty