Scripture: And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)
Meditation: The late Elizabeth O’Connor was a founding member of the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC and a great influence on my life. Her thoughtful teachings on the meaning of call and the importance of Christian community continue to be grist for much contemplation on my role in the Kingdom. In her wonderful book Cry Pain, Cry Hope she writes:
Every single one of us has a “good work” to do in life. This good work not only accomplishes something needed in the world, but completes something in us. When it is finished a new work emerges that will help us to make green a desert place, as well as to scale another mountain in ourselves. The work we do in the world, when it is true vocation, always corresponds in some mysterious way to the work that goes on within us.
With each new stage of life a new work emerges in us. In all likelihood it was there from the beginning, waiting to be claimed for the development of our personalities and of our gifts.
Because Elizabeth was a firm believer that the Church was made up of a collection of gifts, I believe she would have said the same thing about the church body, that, “with each new stage of life a new work emerges in us.”
Such is the Christmas journey, a trip toward a new understanding of who we are as individuals and who we are as a church community. We see the possibilities for exciting new work at Tabernacle Baptist Church with those this society has left behind. This new work does not diminish the work that has been done in the past, but rather builds on it, calling each of us to determine whether it is time “to scale another mountain in ourselves.” What a wonderful Christmas gift it is that God has entrusted us with this new challenge to bring hope to a suffering world.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of Tabernacle Baptist Church. Be with us as we discern Your will for our role in the church’s ministries. Amen.
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