“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:11-13.
Last week was a turning point in the Certa-Werner household! Our oldest son, Thanael, moved to begin his student appointment in Wauwatosa. He is a third-generation preacher and we are very proud of him. Still, there are a lot of “firsts” for him in all this - and for his parents!
This Sunday marks the first “preaching” for many in new appointments. Some of these experiences will be in person and others will be a virtual. This Sunday will be filled with excitement, anxiety, joy, and grief. It will be a Sunday of celebrating the new and mourning what was; indeed, a Sunday of mixed emotions!
The Scripture from Jeremiah is a huge comfort to know that when we are amid “lasts” and “firsts” that God is holding our hand in this ministry journey.
I offer this prayer from Deuteronomy 31:6 and Philippians 4:6, “Almighty God, You are the God of love and we thank You that You are with us in every change and transition. We trust in Your Word that says, “The Lord Your God goes with you.” Therefore, as we enter into this new season, we will not be anxious of the uncertainty, but declare Your Word that says, ‘I must not be anxious for anything but through prayer and supplication, we offer our requests be made known to You.’ Amen. (Adapted from Prayers for 2020).
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.
Clergy Assistant to Bishop Hee-Soo Jung