From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

So it’s hard to believe that in just a week’s time we’ll know who our new bishop will be. This new bishop won’t be office until January, but it is excited to be able to know perhaps in what direction our Synod would be heading for the next at least six years. This is a tricky time for a new bishop, too. Not only are we just getting used to this new three-year election cycle for Synod council, giving us the possibility of a complete turn around in terms of members, we are definitely getting a new chair as our current chair’s term limit is up, and we are just coming out of a global pandemic.

What do we do with all this?

As I cast my vote for bishop this coming week, I will be considering the candidate’s humility… how able are they to see their shortcomings and where they need help? Can they see their own weaknesses and rely on the Synod as whole to work together to fill them? In what areas will their faith shine?

Yes, this sounds like a tall order, but I believe that when a person is strong, they are only as strong as they are. But when they are weak, then their strength is from God and that means pretty much the sky’s the limit (or maybe even up to the outer stratosphere).

Whatever happens, let’s all continue praying for the process, for the candidates, and especially for whomever eventually is elected. It will be a tough run for a first-timer, but I believe that God will be with this person and give them what is needed for the role.

Here are the readings for next week:
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Fun fact about these readings: we rarely ever use them at Grace. With just the way that the lectionary works, it just happens that these readings are usually replaced with the ones for Reformation Sunday. So as it were, this would be the first time in my 12 years at Grace that we’ve ever used them.

But when we look at the blind man’s faith, we often wonder why we don’t have these kinds of miracles happen to us. Why can’t we be healed from our ailments when we call out for help? Well, the thing is that we can be healed from blindness, we just need to admit to what we’re blind to in the first place.

As I was saying about the election for bishop, it is tough to admit that blindness. It isn’t easy to “lose face” and have everyone see where we are weak. It takes humility to confess our own shortcomings and call out for help, be it from God or otherwise.

The thing is though, that is where God is strongest in our lives. When we wholly rely on God’s promises and truth, our faith truly shines in the midst of darkness. Admitting our sin and need for a Saviour is when we see how we had one all along.

And that is the good news here, friends. God’s grace is with us always, but it’s just most apparent when we admit our own brokenness.

Thanks be God! For God picks up those broken pieces and puts us back together, maybe not better than before, but more healed, more whole, more humbled by God’s gracious love.

Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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