The Hidden Ministry
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Giving to the needy
6 ‘Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 ‘So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 ‘And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
16 ‘When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in heaven
19 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
so much of your ministry
You noticed the unnoticed.
Your teaching was misinterpreted.
Your praying was in secret.
Your true purpose was known only to Father.
Your saving death looked like failure.
often it is easier to worship You in public
than to follow You in the hidden places.
Teach us to be agents in Your secret service:
leaving one person feeling uplifted;
showing quiet acts of kindness;
praying silently for people on the bus;
letting go little treasures we have hoarded;
practising the habit of forgiving.
nobody may notice;
nobody may thank us;
nobody may give us the credit...
except Your Father and our Father
who sees in secret.
His smile at the end of this day
will be enough. AMEN