Lost Among the Lilies…

Holy Week is upon us, and we are into another news cycle fraught with social and political unrest – threats of bloodbaths and government shutdowns – wars and rumors of war – oh yeah and allergies. And to top things off, many of us are currently wrestling with the often-overwhelming demands and expectations of ministry. It is strange how this tussling gets so pronounced this time of year. It’s a tough season for preachers, huh?  Indeed, it is.

These challenging times may increase our tendency to give into the frenzy and frustration, to give into the lure of over-performing that invariably lands us in a place of exhaustion, even as we stand to declare the transcendent power of Gospel and the Resurrection on Easter Morning. So today, I want to encourage each of us – pastor, priest, elder, servant – to hold on!

While we may be tempted to come up with more elaborate ways to declare and demonstrate the Gospel, to get lost in writing litanies, planning liturgies, and placing lilies – let us not forget that we already have the greatest story ever told! Inasmuch as we are proclaimers of this hope of glory – even the unconquerable goodness of God – my prayer is that we may be possessed by the message and power of the Gospel that we preach.

While the threat of cynicism is always lurking about, and fear and dread often disrupt our peace – I want to encourage us.

  • My prayer is that we will be apprehended by the hope that we have allowed doubt to take from us.
  • My prayer is that we will, in the quiet moments, be reminded that the grace that envelopes us is enough to sustain us.
  • My prayer is that we may be gripped by Spirit and reminded that we needn’t become rockstars or magicians in order to faithfully tell the story of God’s love and power!
  • My prayer is that our insecurities about our abilities or our worthiness become humility that erupts in holy audacity to preach the Good News!
  • My prayer is that each of us are surprised by joy that resounds in our hearts and grounds us again in our living hope.
  • My prayer is that we embody the Resurrection we preach!

We already have everything that we need. Even in losses we are not lacking. Owing to the inexhaustible power, the ever-abiding presence, and the unfailing promises of God – we have everything that we need!

Yes, this is a stressful time of year. Yes, bad news is making its circles around the globe. Yes, we are tired and on the verge of being overwhelmed. But God is faithful, and God’s grace is enough!

It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

Romans 8:11 (The Message)

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