“…be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable…” (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5)
Let’s begin with gratitude. Some days I am so deeply moved by a scripture I needed to see just at that moment. Have you ever experienced the Spirit nudging your eyes to the right place?
Today I needed to hear: “…be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable…”
The Christian community of the first century faced persecution for proclaiming the gospel message. Each day reveals a battle between the forces of dominance and non-dominance. Some days reveal that the time is unfavorable, and yet we do not let others change or diminish our own faithfulness.
The ministry of both laity and clergy is grounded in baptism, and the water never dries on the promise that God is in this with us. My wife Julie and I love to walk on our Sabbath, and we have a park that never fails to offer the sound of the nuthatch or geese or cranes—and a chance for me to hear and reflect on their call and my own call.
A calling gives us an opportunity to grow and be stretched to live in utter reliance on the one who calls when we do not seem adequate. The one who call us, sustains us so that we can experience and reflect on the hand of providence. We are called in community which gives us a chance to reflect on our functioning in community and ask do I live out my call in a way that blesses or needs to change? As one with privilege, I think and pray about my call often, and how to live it with others. I can hear God calling us clearly to be persistent as we increase racial justice and radical inclusion.
This is my last devotional before the jurisdictional conference that will take place Nov. 2-5, 2022, in Fort Wayne, IN. Let’s remember to pray for the delegations, bishops, and episcopal candidates and their families as they make themselves available to serve in these days as they remain in their places or in new assignments. I would invite us to pray for discernment that is centered on hearing God’s heart for leadership that will best advance our mission.
Meantime, I trust our local churches, laity and clergy, will be their persistent best! Thank you for your faithfulness! I believe the church will have all it needs to remain faithful. So, let’s be persistent!