I'm starting with this photograph from last night's party at our house (Maul Hall). I had to balance my camera on the piano, set the timer, and run into the edge of the picture! But I love it because these friends make everything else possible and we love them all so much. We meet with our small-group (covenant group) every Sunday evening; the encouragement, prayers and accountability we share with these amazing friends always fills us with hope and strength and peace and purpose. They are, quite literally, the presence of Christ for Derek and Rebekah.
But, wow, what a weekend! Life at our church is busy all the time - we're an active, life-infused, live-faith-out-loud kind of a congregation - but these past few days have been full to the max.
A lot of the preacher-stuff is visible: Christmas parties and worship and Christmas parties and teaching and Christmas parties and music and Christmas parties and such. Did I mention the Christmas parties? But then there's the deep layer of pastoral care and administration and leadership that can leave the preacher exhausted and spent.
Four deaths. Four memorial services in four days. The first was yesterday, Sunday afternoon at the church. Liver disease at 47; cancer at 65; an unexpected death at 40; then the daughter of a preacher friend, a tragic passing at just 24. Rebekah is preaching at three of the four services (she never, ever does a "cookie-cutter" memorial). But more than that it's the grief, the processing of death with the families, the raw emotions and the overwhelming details.
THE PASTOR'S HUSBAND'S JOB: When you're married to the preacher, and especially when something tragic happens (and by definition tragedy always comes without warning) there can quickly be a bunch of people at your house. It doesn't matter if you're the pastor's wife or the pastor's husband, you're going to find yourself in the kitchen serving hot tea and offering to fix whoever a plate of food.
It's not about if it's convenient, or if the family sitting in your living room is hungry, or prefers coffee, or if you even have anything other than peanut butter and a bag of chips... It's about serving, it's about loving people, and most of all it's about being the presence of Christ with and for somebody else.
So here's the point of today's post. Being a preacher's spouse must - at its core - be all about following Jesus with passion, about living faith out loud, and about an ongoing commitment to be the presence of Christ as an active witness to love - in every aspect of our life. As the pastor's husband I am part of a ministry team, and my number one role is to serve.
This life is an amazing privilege, a tremendous responsibility, and a constant source of joy.
Thank God we have our small group!
Love and blessings - DEREK - www.DerekMaul.com
- My prayer for the preacher: "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus... And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1: 3-5, 9-11)