Sign-up for free e-newsletter

Viewpoint from Rev Rosie Bunn 22/11/2013

Rector of All Saints Church, Belton and
 St Peter & St Paul Church, Burgh Castle


Don't do it for me, do it with me


It's a phrase I heard said a few weeks ago and it got me thinking
dove leftHow easy it is to just get on and do something without considering whether there is a better way. It reminded me of a task that could become an issue in our family home as my sons were growing up. Like most lads if they could get away without doing any household tasks, they would. So, in the morning, if they didn't unload the dishwasher before we left for work and they left for school; my husband would just unload it and put all the crockery and cutlery away.  They, of course, loved it as they had gotten away with a task they disliked.  I wonder how Tim might have fared if he had said “don’t do it for me, do it with me”?
Dove rightI know that when I was in the kitchen baking my youngest son needed no invitation to come and join in.  Similarly, when we worked on our allotment, both boys enjoyed working with us.  If we had asked them to go and dig it on their own, we might not have had the same response
Jesus, too, knew the importance of getting others involved.  When he first called his disciples to be his followers, they would tag along with him, seeing him speak to the crowds, heal the sick and preach the gospel.  It wasn’t long before he got them involved in doing the work of the kingdom with him; they did it together and the disciples learnt by their mistakes as well as seeing the Master in action.  Quite quickly he sent them off in twos to further their experience of preaching the good news and seeing God at work in signs and wonders
In teaching the people who wanted to learn, Jesus told them the he only did what he saw his Father doing; he saw what Dad did and joined in!  It was something that was important to Jesus and he wanted his disciples to realise that they couldn’t do anything in their own strength, and that it was the Holy Spirit working in and through them which enabled them to accomplish the many things they did
It seems to me that the message “Don’t do it for me, do it with me” comes through loud and clear  from the pages of the Bible.  The question for me (and you);  how often do we  get an idea and go off and get on with it, rather than seeing where God is at work and joining in.  God is often at work in surprising places, and on the margins of society; no different to what we read of in the gospels.  Just as my children benefited from doing tasks and activities with my husband and myself, so too we benefit enormously when we join in God’s work with him, rather than doing it for him