The old worn Broadman Hymnal that I take down quite often in quiet times ushers me back to significant places and bring those “Precious Memories” that one of the hymns sing about. Today the hymn I was trying to sing was one that brought back memories of a very plain classroom in a non-descript concrete block building. I don’t remember any decorations nor furnishings except the teacher’s desk, about 30 student’s desks and a blackboard. Yes, it was a BLACKboard in those days before the green “chalk board” was invented. That was 1957 and I was a freshman in Truett-McConnell Junior College (now University). Lots more than just the name has changed since those happy days.
But one ting has not changed. The stirring in my spirit when I hear and/or try to sing for myself the words of that great old hymn. I suppose we did sing it in my church growing up but it was in the first meeting of the student “Ministerial Association” that I had come to join. It turned out to be the theme song of our small club. It has been a theme of my heart from that day until this.
“O land of rest, for thee I sigh! When will the moment come
When I shall lay my armor by, And dwell in peace at home?
We’ll work till Jesus comes, We’ll work till Jesus comes,
We’ll work till Jesus comes, And we’ll be gathered home.
There are several more very meaningful verses, written by Elizabeth K. Mills back in the 1830’s. But it is the heartbeat of the chorus, that moves my soul. I do want to work in the ministry to which our Lord called and equipped me. And that’s is no credit to my account for this sentiment and determination. I have a calling, not just a ‘career’. Mine is a passion, not a profession.
Romans 11:29 declares that “…the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” If our Lord has called you to salvation, you are still as called and secure as you were the moment you received His free gift by faith in His Son. If He has called you to the Gospel ministry, you are still called. The spiritual gift He has given you for service in His church, may have become stale and cold because of neglect and disuse. But there is no indication in the New Testament that He only equips anyone for a designated, limited time. Your spiritual gift and mine has not been and never will be subject to any man-made notion of “retirement”.
I want to keep on keeping on for Jesus sake, in His service. And I want to challenge my fellow servants, let’s work till Jesus comes, and we’ll be gathered home!