First Steps – June 15, 2020

N.T (Tom) Wright, former Anglican Bishop, is currently the Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Oxford.  I have a deep appreciation for his research and writings. He wrote this reflection about Acts 18 and Paul’s ministry in Corinth and Ephesus:

“Luke offers us no set pattern for the way in which people come, step by step, into full membership in the Christian family and full participation in all the possibilities that are opened to them. Sometimes it happens this way and sometimes that way.  Just as humans grow to maturity at different paces, and some make great strides in one area while others have to catch up later, so it seems to be in the church. What matters is that we are open, ready to learn even from unlikely sources, and prepared for whatever God has to reveal to us through Scripture, the apostolic teaching, common life of believers, and the Holy Spirit.

I marvel at this reflection because I think he has his finger on the pulse of faith development.  It is not and never has been a one-stop-shop.  It is the one God in Christ whom is the driver behind faith development; but God works in tandem with the person. This means the speed of faith development is largely due to the person.  God is always waiting and wanting but isn’t a violator of one’s will.

Therefore, a premium is placed on one’s openness.  We need to always be open, ready, and willing.  If we are, God will always do what is needed to form the nature of Christ in us. Thanks be to God!

This Week’s Readings:

  • Monday – 1 Peter 3
  • Tuesday – 1 Peter 4
  • Wednesday – 1 Peter 5
  • Thursday – 2 Peter 1
  • Friday – 2 Peter 2

Please Pray for:

  • Our ministers and their families.
  • Those who are unwillingly absent.
  • The United Methodist Church family.
  • Our nation and our leaders.
  • The World.
  • The Lost.
  • The lives of those touched by the Coronavirus.