Pastoral Relief and Retreat

My photo
Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

Pages

Monday, March 3, 2008

James 2:1

"My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory."

There's a truth about the gospel that always makes it hard to know what to do. Pretty much everything in Christ turns the world's model upside-down. Someone once said that the effect of the Fall was to reverse the plan of God for man and that in Christ God reversed the reversal. And so, having said that, I ask the question: doesn't God show partiality? Didn't Jesus show partiality when he selected his disciples? Hasn't God showed partiality all down through the ages? You know... what's with the idea of Israel being the "chosen people" if that's not partiality?

Ah yes! But look at WHO God seems to choose:

"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."

Some of the most effective pastors I know shepherd churches under 100 in membership. Who is to say what a great work of God is? Can it be that there may be more value in the eyes of God to someone who is basically a "street person" -- "down on their luck" -- than the CEO of Exxon? This isn't to say that there aren't some wonderful people of faith with great sums of money at their command. Rather it is a general principle that in the gospel God shows no partiality and that often his way of leveling the field is by giving to the poor, the humble, the lowly the greater part of his Spirit to offer to others.

God, help me to be that person today! As the hymn says,

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

Jon

No comments: