We Have Been There Before—and We Survived
By Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—peace because they trust in you. —Isaiah 26:3 NRSV
Church finances are much on our minds now. However, we have been there before, and we survived. We can and will again. Jesus sees a joyful life ahead, not necessarily an easy life. We know he is in this work. He continues to say, “Follow me.” He will not let us fail. Let us be aware of God’s blessings to each of us. I believe if we reach out to those in need and support our church home (locally and world-wide) with both finances and love, people will come. I believe most people joined this work because they were loved into it. If we spread love whenever and wherever we can, this work will thrive, and we will know joy and peace with Christ.
Who was this man who came along and simply said, “Follow me”? People left their homes and families, and ran to catch up with him. First two people followed, then two more, then others—and they never stopped.
What drew them to him? What magnetism did he have? People soon learned how much he loved and honored the life of each person. He shared his trust in God. He enjoyed the company of people who saw him not as a high-minded, pulpit-pounding, religious reformer—ready to indict them for their sins. He was one of them—one with them. The beauty of his life showed them how grace-filled their lives could be.
No matter what worries or discouragements, Christ continues to call us, “I am the Way—follow me, and I will make you fishers of souls. Follow me, and I will change you by my love, and then send you out to share God’s acceptance and love with everyone.” Following Jesus means a true commitment, no turning back when times are tough.
Prayer for Peace
We place our trust in you, our Steadfast God. You never leave us alone. We will know your 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.
“I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back, no turning back” (Community of Christ Sings 499).