Today’s readings: Song of Solomon 2:8-13; 4:1-4a, 5- 7, 9-11; 2 Corinthians 12:11-21; Luke 19:41-48
The best leaders suffer failure. Paul bemoaned the Corinthian Church’s lack of repentance and disloyalty. Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and no doubt over Judas, if not Peter as well. Some people will be unrepentant, unfaithful, self-serving, accusing, or just downright vicious. We cannot get around it; this is the way of things—at least once we get out of that so-called “honeymoon” time early in a call. This does not affect only pastors. The rest of a church also suffers once a few deem that a pastor is no longer the “beloved.” What is one to do in this all-too-familiar scenario?
What did Jesus do? What did Paul do? They both continued to spend themselves out for the very people who would betray them. They did so by continuing to speak the truth. We must do the same, offering those beloved of the Lord both the hard truth of God’s law and the assuring hope of the gospel. In doing so, some will hang on to those words of life, embraced and intoxicated by the love of Christ that has been confirmed through the ministry of someone who thought he was a failure.
Prayer: Give me courage and faithfulness, Lord, to share your love. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC and Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Advance, NC.