We invited Macedonian Ministry pastor, Sherrad Hayes, to reflect on “road signs” he’s seeing in his ministry and here’s what he had to say:
Reflection by: Sherrad Hayes
“Therefore, girding up the loins of your mind, being sober-minded, set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13
“Daddy, I’m not buckled up!”
The car in front of me stopped. I stopped. My heart stopped. Somewhere in the rush of the morning, I had neglected to buckle my five-year-old son into his car seat. Somewhere between seeing him climb into his seat, strapping in his baby brother, hearing his request for juice, going back inside to get said juice, returning to the car, worrying about running late – I forgot a crucial step. Later, my son let me know. In the middle of the stop-and-go traffic of the rush hour interstate, he cried out. Thankfully, I was able to pull off at an exit before disaster hit. I buckled him in. My heart started again.
“Girding up the loins of your mind,” is a notoriously difficult phrase of Peter’s to translate. Our idiom “buckle up” is a pretty good paraphrase, though. “Prepare your minds for action,” as several modern translations render it, works well enough. But it loses some of the grit required of the original. “Buckle up,” lets someone know danger is ahead. We would be safer never getting into the car, but that’s not an option. We buckle up to keep from being thrown about in a car; a first-century man pulled up his long garment and tuck it into his belt to keep from tripping in battle or at work. In both cases, there is a warning that something important and dangerous was about to happen. Driving is dangerous. The work of ministry is dangerous. Following Jesus is dangerous.
It is easy to be distracted by the demands of church leadership. In the rush, it is easy to neglect things that are essential. Jesus calls leaders to be disciples, too. He calls us to disciple our families. If we desire to show others Christ, we must ensure that we are yoked to Christ ourselves. Peter tells us, “Set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.” Christ is our buckle. We ignore our connection to Christ to our peril. We ignore our friendship with Christ to the peril of our families. We ignore our intimacy with Christ to the peril of those we hope to lead. Buckle up.