I spent the early part of this Saturday afternoon meeting on zoom with a lovely group of people in our Presbytery who are studying to become Certified Ruling Elders. We used to call these folks lay preachers or lay pastors. When their education is complete some of these elders will seek calls to serve churches in our presbytery. Some may serve by providing supply preaching to churches who need a preacher for a given Sunday or many Sundays. Some will offer their new education and gifts to their home churches. Mark Perry (a CRE from Wabash) and I were invited to talk about our approaches to preaching.
At the end of our time together, a lovely woman named Donna, one of the students, had prepared a meditation. She talked about the importance of words, and indeed we had been talking through the early afternoon about how to pull words together in such a way as to share the important Word of God. As I listened to Donna speak and read scripture about the importance of words, it struck me that the words we speak over the next several weeks are going to be hugely important.
Today we received news that we have an election of a new president. Some of you will greet this announcement with great joy and hopefulness. Still others will hear this news with fear or even dread. Others may be angry. I was reminded by Donna that the words we speak to each other in this time of division are very important. I hope that our words will communicate empathy, a listening spirit and desire to seek the good for our future together as a church, a community and a country.
The writer of proverbs says it well:
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15: 23
May you find good words to say in this day and may you say them with love.
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