Conference Reflection: Meeting Myself in the Presence
By Skip Melsen of Cumming, GA, USA
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your God. —Matthew 5:14–16 NRSV, adapted
While sharing with other attendees in caucus meetings at 2013 World Conference, I found many of us have similar stories. We have suffered from a feeling of uselessness for several years and for no understandable reasons. I found my story supported by similar experiences of others, and my courage began to rise as they shared tales of horizons they now enjoy in their fields.
On Sunday, Steve Veazey’s words of counsel hit home. I felt the Spirit speak to me through the prophetic message.
“And, always remember, the way of suffering love that leads to the cross also leads to resurrection and everlasting life in Christ’s eternal community of oneness and peace.”
My trying times took on value and promise on which to develop.
During the rest of the conference, my prayers dove deeper in search of more meaning. I read and reread the entire counsel to search for still more leadership. Each time more comfort and guidance rose from the page. I am confident this will continue.
I witnessed the Spirit fill the body of the conference and invest itself in our companionship. I witnessed the growing sense of closeness among the body. As voice after voice confirmed the words of counsel, their hearts rang out in support of the renewed call to serve—not just for some, but for all. Callings within the paragraphs of the counsel spoke of our responsibility. We are to identify and activate roles in leading the disciples to God, while intentionally employing a deeper, loving message.
Meeting myself in the presence of the Holy Spirit, I examine my soul. The presence within my heart clarifies my mind, and I see the truth in words of my understanding. Now I will find the way to heal my soul. Removing the pain, erasing the shame, I must venture forward to find myself within the light that fills me.
Prayer for Peace
Luminous Spirit, we see your love and light in the faces of our companions. We encourage one another in the cause of peace.
Spiritual Practice: Praying for Leadership of the Church
An important spiritual practice for disciples is praying for members of the body of Christ, especially those who carry leadership responsibilities. Ask God to guide your awareness of people who lead the community of faith in congregations, mission centers, and the World Church. Pray for God’s outpouring of grace on each servant leader who comes to mind.
Today, God, I will continually search my soul for ways to serve you.