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April 17, 2011

To be essential means to be indispensible. I looked it up. If you are essential to a cause, you simply cannot be done without. You need to be right there, on task, doing whatever it is you do.
There are people who are absolutely essential to my well being. Luanne and my children are essential to my joy. My cancer doctor is essential to my good health. My paper boy is essential to my morning coffee. My mechanic is essential to my driving experience. My annoying neighbor with the motorcycle is essential to my blood flow. The list goes on and on.
This all comes to mind because of the government shutdown that almost happened here Friday night. Fortunately, our ego driven leaders apparently gave thought to the fact that another election is coming up some day, and decided to settle matters before the deadline arrived, thus averting a major mess for millions of American people.
Regrettably, in preparation for a possible shutdown, tens of thousands of government workers left work on Friday night, having been told that they were not essential workers, and if the shutdown happened they were to stay at home come Monday morning. Do I need to tell you that there were hurt feelings all around? One worker said, Were proud of what we do. We do important jobs and do them well. Its not right to tell us were not essential. It hurts.
Well, I guess so. Imagine:
Dad, were going to have a family council after dinner tonight, but dont bother to come. Weve all decided youre not essential to the conversation.
Mom, were going on a family vacation, but theres no need for you to come. Weve all decided that you are not essential to our family joy.
Son, weve decided to rent your room
Well, you get the idea. We all want to feel essential. We all want to feel like we are important. We all want to feel like something would be missing if, well, we were missing.
There is little question that we all worry about that just a little. We wonder how essential, how indispensible we might be in the situations of our lives. We cant help but worry about that a little. Its what makes us human. But, its also what keeps us trying, working hard, doing our best, treating people right, and loving the best way we know how.
The good news, of course, and the good news you need to hear from the church, is that we are all essential in the eyes of God. The kingdom could not possibly be complete without you.. The heart of God would lose its fullness were you not nestled there.
The kingdom of God never shuts down. And even if it did, the Lord would be looking for you to report on Monday morning. You are essential. You will always be.
And Ill see you Sunday.

Gary