Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen

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Two comments that are totally profound:

Ministry and the Spiritual Life

All Jesus’ words and actions emerge from his intimate relationships
with his Father. “Do you not believe,” Jesus says, “that I am in the
Father and the Father is in me? What I say to you I do not speak of my
own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works.

You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father
is in me; or at least believe it on the evidence of these works” (John

Just as all Jesus’ words and actions emerge from his communion with
his Father, so all our words and actions must emerge from our
communion with Jesus. “In all truth I tell you,” he says, “whoever
believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and will
perform even greater works. … Whatever you ask for in my name I will
do” (John 14:12-13). It is this profound truth that reveals the
relationship between the spiritual life and the life of ministry.

Acting in the Name of Jesus

Ministry is acting in the Name of Jesus. When all our actions are in
the Name, they will bear fruit for eternal life. To act in the Name of
Jesus, however, doesn’t mean to act as a representative of Jesus or
his spokesperson. It means to act in an intimate communion with him.
The Name is like a house, a tent, a dwelling. To act in the Name of
Jesus, therefore, means to act from the place where we are united with
Jesus in love. To the question “Where are you?” we should be able to
answer, “I am in the Name.” Then, whatever we do cannot be other than
ministry because it will always be Jesus himself who acts in and
through us. The final question for all who minister is “Are you in the
Name of Jesus?”” When we can say yes to that, all of our lives will be

There are counselors who happen to be Christians — and then there are Christian Counselors. I pray I am in the latter category for the former is the definition of useless. Of course, that also would apply to plumbers…

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