Christ emphasized the individual. He surrounded himself, not with the rich of the world, or those upon whose shoulders had fallen the mantle of political power, but with just the ordinary. Worldly honor and true humility rarely run in the same veins. Christ still seeks men and women of service, rather than those who have their own personal agendas and aspire to place and power.
Such a man was Andrew, the ordinary.
When he introduced his brother, Simon Peter to Jesus, he knew from the start that his brother would be the predominant one. Andrew, like Simon was a fisherman by trade and was the first to answer the call of the master. He is spoken of a few times in the New Testament but it is by way of passing, not of primary importance.
What does it take to play ‘second fiddle’ to your own brother? To know from the start that you will not be noted as a leader among the followers of this new Messiah? He truly exemplifies the title, “A Ministry Of One”. There was no great fanfare in his actions. He was just THERE! Always there. Faithful!
We often complain about what few talents God has given us. We see ourselves as insignificant and our lives unimportant. We forget the instruction of Paul when he said, “I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Years ago, when we lived in a small town in north central Georgia, an event happened daily in our lives that were of great and lasting influence. It was a simple MINISTRY OF ONE. He was a bit retarded but still felt he could contribute to the welfare of the community. It was a daily charge, as if he was punching a clock, and he was there, every day (Except Sunday) from nine to four. His work was so uplifting that a letter to the editor appears in the weekly paper of the county. The author was obviously a minister of a local church. It was incisive and succinct and Worthy of another print. It will explain more about this ministry of one. That letter is quoted here:
“Beside the highway, heading both in and out of town, he stands beneath the green trees. I do not know who he is. I do not think he cares to know my identity. He waves to me – to everyone that passes. His face is happy. His smile is bright. I feel better after I pass because he shares with me his joy, his love for life and people like me.”
“He does not come to the roadside in a moment of idleness, nor without careful preparation. As I wear a robe, adorned with a cross to raise the sacrament to my people, he brings a chair, a thermos, an eyeshade and an old shaggy dog.”
“I think about him, tiny figure, beside the road, offering his sacrament of a good day to every one who passes. I wonder how his days are spent. Are they long, like mine? Does anyone raise a hand to him? When the cars are gone and night closes in, what does he do? I do not know but I think he is happy of his ministry of love. I think he falls asleep smiling. A good conscience makes a soft pillow.”
“Tiny figure beside the road, you know so well what one said long ago, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. . . For by the same measure you use, that measure shall be used in giving unto you” (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:38).
“I lift my hand to you, tiny figure. I must learn to sing your song – “Let me live in my house by the side of the road. It’s here the walls of men go by. They are good and they are bad, they are weak and they are strong – some wise, some foolish.
So am I. Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat or hurl the cynic’s ban? Let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.”
I thought I would test him out one day as I drove by. He was there, standing, waving. I gave him a terrible frown, but he just kept smiling and waving to me. I thought, he’s no fake. He’s the real thing. Now even years later, I am still influenced by the sight of the MINISTRY OF ONE.
No, he’ll never make big headlines, or win a prize for his efforts. But there he stood, day after day, in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. HE WAS THERE AND HE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE.
When this life is over and the ministry of one is placed in judgment, will not the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:23).