All In - Devotion for the Wisconsin Annual Conference
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone . . . she, from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.’ (Mark 12:43-44)”
Do you remember the Hokey-Pokey song? “You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.”
My favorite verse is, “you put your whole self in, you put your whole self out, you put your whole self in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about!”
This is the verse that is meant for us as followers of Jesus. Jesus was always inviting us to put our whole self in, to this life of faith. Jesus was always challenging people to see how trusting God with our whole life can lead us to new places.
When Jesus saw the poor widow, out of her hopeless poverty, give everything she had to God, he saw her as being willing to trust God with her whole life. This woman is a role model for me. She invites me to ask regularly, “Am I putting my whole self in to living faith today?”
In these changing times, when there is little certainty, I find that leaning on God, putting my whole self in, helps me to learn and make it through each day.
Susan N. W. Ruach says it so well in her poem, “A New Way of Struggling”.
“To struggle used to be, to grab with both hands
And shove and not give in, but to wrest and answer from it all, as Jacob did a blessing.
“But there is another way to struggle with an issue, a question –
Simply to Jump
Into the abyss and find ourselves
Slowly and gently but surely to the answers God has for us –
To watch the answers unfold before our eyes and still to be a part of the unfolding.
“But, oh! The trust necessary for this new way!
Not to be always reaching out for the old hand-holds.”
May God give us the courage to jump all in today!
Prayer: Holy One, we long to give ourselves to you. In this time of change, when we would really like our old hand-holds, teach us to move to the place in our lives, in our faith, in our churches, where you are calling us to go. Take our fragile lives and hold us gently as we learn to trust you. In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.