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Lenten Reflections: On-the-Job Training

'Golden Clouds' photo (c) 2007, Esparta Palma - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Judges 14:20 – 15:20
Mark 4:1-20
Philippians 1:19b-26

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  (Philippians 1:21)

By Jenean McKay

I am stunned by Paul’s faith in God’s love. Paul was living in joy with no fear of death even though he endured beatings, shipwrecks, and jail. As I’ve ruminated about his life, I have come to some conclusions. It took some time for Paul to get to this stage.  After being called by God and blinded, he was taken “under the wing” for several years by a man known as a dedicated teacher.  Surely there were others to support him. Then there was his missionary travel with its many adventures, also good learning tools.  

Where am I going with this? I believe we are all on a journey of learning and experience that brings us to different faith places. It is important to remember that wherever we are in our journey, God loves us and wants us to live in joy and without fear.  So I say, "We are all rookies here."  We are all valued and loved, and have something to contribute to help each other learn and grow. No matter our backgrounds, age, and situations. It also means that things take time, so we have to be patient with ourselves as well as others on our journey. And, we must not compare ourselves to others or put ourselves down because we don’t see ourselves as accomplished as others. That is not the point. Paul would have a fit if he thought we were demeaning ourselves because we weren’t shipwrecked, beaten up, or didn’t know Greek! 

So let us say to each other as Paul did:  "I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith...."

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for being with us always, no matter where we are or what is going on in our lives.  Give us the courage to accept your love and share it with others as our on-the-job training continues.  Amen

Jenean McKay is a member of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Washington, D.C. This post is reprinted, with permission,  from NYAPC's 2013 Lenten Meditations booklet.

 

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