God’s Co-workers (13-05-22)
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:6-9
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow.
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose,
and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour.
For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building.
Prior to training for ordination, one of my earlier jobs was with a commercial agricultural company where I worked as a technical adviser. I was part of a regional team which also included six salesmen, a regional manager and an administrator. In many ways we were co-workers. The regional team had targets to meet and each of us brought our different strengths and abilities to help achieve the goals.
It is the same if you watch the award ceremonies for best film or best TV programme. It is not just about the celebrities; it is about all the people in the background who have helped to make the film or programme a success. It’s about all the co-workers, as well as the director.
I think this was what Paul had in mind when he compared his ministry to that of Apollos: co-workers in God’s service. The difference between this image of Christian ministry and that of a commercial organisation is that the result doesn’t ultimately depend on the co-workers, it depends on God. Paul plants, Apollos waters but it is God who makes things grow.
In the great drama of life that spans both time and space, a drama that is directed by God, you and I are co-workers. The drama is nothing less than God’s salvation plan for the world, and we each have a role to play which is an important part within the whole.
Within God's plan it may be that we sow the seed, by sharing the Good News with others. It may be that we create the right conditions for growth by watering the seed, or even by preparing the soil beforehand or dealing with the weeds that grow unwanted later on.
Have you discovered your role in God's plan of salvation? Whatever it is, it is important. God is not looking for celebrities in his Kingdom, he is looking for co-workers. There is only one celebrity and that is Jesus. What God is looking for is people who will faithfully do what he has asked us to do, people who will work together for the kingdom. When we do that, it is God who will make the seeds grow. And it is us who will be rewarded.
Thank you, Lord, that you have called me into your kingdom, and for the privilege of being one of your co-workers.
Help your church to work faithfully together to see your kingdom come and your will be done.
Come, set your rule and reign.