Time to proclaim

Good morning everyone! Hooray for Friday!

Today’s scripture:

Good morning everyone! Hooray for Friday!

Today’s scripture:
2 Timothy 4:1-5(NRSV) In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you:2 proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5 As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

The scripture this morning is powerful!  It really kind of speaks for itself this morning, doesn’t it?  This letter to the church packs a punch that includes proclaiming the message, even when we are consistently fighting with other voices.  When we have a mission, we can’t help ourselves, can we?

We have really been living this out where I live and work.  Our community decided that if we were really sticking to our mission about restoration and loving and serving with all people, we really shouldn’t be kicking people off property at night.  So we haven’t. In fact, we allowed tents.  Now we find ourselves in this conversation every single day.  Even when the time is favorable or unfavorable.  There are days when I really don’t want to deal with this mission or message. It takes up a lot of time and space and energy and it is hard work.  There isn’t a solution yet and everyone is working towards one but it doesn’t seem to work quite yet.  We are having a bit community meeting tomorrow .  We will be there to proclaim and discuss, encourage and teach…it is all wrapped together. When we have a mission, we can do little else. This becomes about how we treat the people of God instead of statistics. We can’t help ourselves but to proclaim constantly.

Many in the congregation I serve proclaim this mission in different ways.  Silently offering food or helping folks get into gardening.  Loudly speaking to newspapers and on radio stations.  Worshiping with and putting judgment aside to see just people.  Offering support and wisdom.  Raising money to further the mission.  All are valid forms of proclamation to redirect to the Word, don’t ya think?

I also love the line in the scripture where the letter says that people will get itchy ears and wander away to myths because they have accumulated teachers to suit their own desires.  In a world full of consumerism, doesn’t this preach a bit? We are constantly fighting an uphill battle with false teachers in the world.  Instead of community, we see ads that really push isolation.  They tell us that we aren’t enough and we don’t have enough and we don’t look a certain way so certainly we cannot attain happiness.  These are in fact, myths.  When we get itchy ears and want solid answers and solutions, these look pretty appealing. I am the first to fall prey to them.  When I get stressed I no longer can hear the other as loudly. It really takes the community to pull me back to encouragement and community and love.

I had a moment about a week ago where I thought….nope, this is too tough to stay on mission.  There is too much to do and way too few answers.  It would be easier to just step back and let every one else deal with this problem.  And then the community stepped in.  People who had never worked with the homeless decided it was time.  And the homeless decided to bring good news about life and came to church.  And then the community around us responded in wonderful ways.  And I felt restored again.  I dodged the myth just a little.

It is easy to get discouraged in Lent.  During this reflective time, there is much to consider.  But consider this…you are called into ministry.  When you just can’t move forward, this is why we have community.  When you get itchy ears, what will re center you?

Peace.

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