What’s happening here? Elijah experienced a huge letdown. Even more, he experienced it in the midst of being faithful. He was wondering what he did wrong and if he was the person that he thought he was, if he was the right person for the job. Perhaps he thought to himself, “I did something wrong; it is my fault,” or, “I have been let down by God.”
“There is a holy reckoning unfolding before us in the church.”
How do we know when an organization isn’t healthy?
Preachers tend to have favorite passages and topics for preaching and teaching. If you don’t preach from the Revised Common Lectionary each week, it can be easy to fall into predictable patterns that limit your congregation’s exposure to the full range of God’s Word. We all have blind spots, and it’s worth asking where we might be missing the opportunity to address a pressing need.
“More than just building a tower, the people of Babel wanted to build a reputation for themselves. They wanted others to recognize their intelligence and skill and to admire them. Abraham, on the other hand, didn’t seem that interested in making a name for himself. He was happy to follow God, to obey God’s calling, and to entrust his reputation to God. God took care of Abraham’s reputation and made his name great.”
I wondered how hungry the man was to steal an egg salad sandwich from a convenience store. I also wondered how he would have reacted to the customer’s kindness. He left without knowing his debt was paid. He was free to go. The food belonged to him.
Today we encounter two men, Timothy and Epaphroditus, who have chosen to believe what Paul has taught them about joy. They don’t just believe it, they are putting into action the things they’ve learned. Their stories serve as perfect examples of how serving well leads to joy.
Good leadership requires self-awareness: a leader knowing herself by acknowledging her gifts and limits to set herself up for success.
Gideon is saying, “my narrative contradicts your call. My life story does not line up with what you’re saying, Lord. My circumstances do not fit the direction you are navigating me in.”
I have often thought when hearing of another nose-dive from ministry, “not him?” but underlying that has been a naive attitude that has assumed that it won’t ever be me.