Epistle Article January 12, 2014

You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers.

(1 Thessalonians 2:10)

             I have a confession to make: preachers, like all humans, sometimes forget things. In the midst of the daily tasks of ministry, we can forget the weighty issues that matter. In the constant handling of sacred things it is easy to take our holy calling for granted. Whether our forgetfulness relates to our daily devotions, life of prayer, or scripture reading, preachers are capable of neglecting the disciplines that give our life meaning and purpose.

I enjoy January because it holds promise of a better year ahead. The year in front of us seems as clear and clean as a new year’s calendar. Recently, the Worship Services at St. Paul’s have reminded me of things that I too often forget. Within the context of our Worship Services, I am reminded that the Biblical, historical, and theological integrity of Christian Worship cures my forgetfulness. My intention for the New Year is to remain faithful to my call to ministry.

I believe that God calls all Christians to a life of faithfulness. Because God is faithful, God also provides tools to aid us in our faith journeys. That is why daily devotions, prayers, and Scripture reading are important. These tools help us lead pure, upright, and blameless lives. Moreover, committed regular attendance in Worship is a gift that God uses as a cure for our forgetfulness.

One day a good, rich man saw the unacceptable conditions of the house in which a poor carpenter lived. He decided to help the poor man. He told the carpenter, “I want you to build the ideal house. Use only the best materials, hire the best workers, spare no expense.” Then the rich man told the carpenter that he was going away, and he hoped the carpenter would finish the house before his return. The carpenter saw this as a chance to quickly make a lot of money. Therefore, he used cheap materials, hired workers at low wages, covered their mistakes with paint, and basically cut corners at every opportunity. The carpenter pocketed the cash difference. Upon the rich man’s return, the carpenter handed him the house key and said, “I built your house as you told me to.” The rich man replied, “Well done good and faithful carpenter,” and handed the key back. He continued, “It is yours. You built this house for yourself. You and your family are to have it as my gift.”

The life God offers us has a number of daily options from which to choose. We can either do the right thing or we can neglect the disciplines that give our lives meaning and purpose.

For all of us, pastors included, the faith journey can be difficult. Yet, each of us, if true to the upward call of Jesus Christ, are assured that God is with us. God has given us all the materials we need to be effective Christians. Everyone has different skills, but God calls all of us to remain faithful.

People who live faithful lives do not fear the future. Faithful people are pure, upright, and blameless. Regular attendance at our Worship Services is a gift of God that we need as a reminder of the foundational qualities of abundant life.

 

See you in Church,