Message summary: As we look back over some 45 years of serving Christ we find great blessing in reflecting upon God’s chosen people who are worthy of honor. We have had them all though our ministry in churches we have pastored and in churches we have attended. Today we honor Veda Shibilo.
Listen to this message on your audio player.“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Romans 13:7).
Today let us consider those who are worthy of honor. In our fame-crazed culture honor is often focused on the famous; entertainers, athletes, politicians and others in the limelight. Even in the church world focus is generally directed at those who have well-known ministries. Now to be sure some famous people are worthy of honor but in our view so many are not, at least when primarily defining “worthy of honor” to those living a life honoring to Jesus Christ.
Those whom we believe are most worthy of honor are serving on the frontlines of Christian ministry in local churches all over the world. We greatly appreciate pastors, church leaders and others involved in Christian service. We are grateful for those who have dramatic testimonies of great deliverance from sin.
But the backbone of our churches and in our daily lives are people like Veda Shibilo. Have you ever heard of her? For most the answer would be “no”. But in this message while honoring Veda we want you to consider people like her in your own church and community. You know people like her and perhaps you might even blush to realize you may be numbered among them by your fellow brothers and sisters! We sure hope so.
Veda was a vital part of the church we served in New England in the 90’s. She and her late husband Bill were among those who helped unload our U-Haul truck when we moved into the church parsonage in 1993. She had recently retired from a professional job and became my secretary for the nearly eight years that I served as pastor of that church. She had been a part of that church her whole life and the earliest record I found of her Christian service in that church was as a teenager in the mid-1940’s when she worked with the children. Through the years she has blessed that church in many capacities such as Sunday School teacher, choir director and in many other roles. Shortly before her move to the nursing home she was still serving (some 75 years later) by restocking the offering envelopes in the church pew slots!
But we saw further evidence of her impact when we received an email from Nigel and Laifong. This couple attended the church for only a couple years and eventually relocated to the Boston area, but when Laifong read our note about Veda, she wanted to get in touch with her. She wanted to send some photos she had taken of Bill and Veda. Don’t you know that really touched Veda’s heart. Another couple from the New Bedford area, Rick and Liz, who were a part of our congregation but had changed churches many years ago also responded to the news about Veda by paying her a personal visit.
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber