Every week we’ll post a short snippet from Ashley’s sermon from that Sunday. Here’s a few lines from what he said this week as we started a short series thinking about pastoral care. The sermon title was “What is Christian Pastoral Care?”
Jesus said that he had come to give people life in all its fullness. His mission was to deal with all that human beings had done to spoil their relationships with God and with one another (and indeed with the rest of the created world). Jesus’ mission was to restore us into healthy relationships and so enable us to live as the fully human beings that God always intended.
And Paul’s mission, and the church’s mission through the ages, has always been to join in with Jesus’ mission, continuing to work out the effects of the reconciling power of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Christian pastoral care is an essential part of that work.
Pastoral care in the context of Jesus’ mission, pastoral care that is Christian, pastoral care when it is done by the church, is not about promoting the emotional and physical wellbeing of those in the church (although that can be part of it). No pastoral care if it is to be called Christian is about enabling people to have healthy relationships with God, with one another and with all creation, so that they can enjoy life in all its fullness.
[Reflecting on 2 Corinthians 5.16-21, John 10.10-11 and Psalm 23]