Kelsey Brown (She/Her)
Awaiting Call in SE PA Synod
One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:6-13, NIV
My journey to ministry has been a pretty straight forward one...if you count nursing school, cross country moves and a lengthy long distance relationship as “straight forward.” I’ve always been the type of person who needed a little bit of reassurance before making a big leap, always worried about making the wrong choices or following the wrong path. If you’re anything like me, keep reading, because in the 4th Chapter of the book of Ephesians we receive a charge from its writer on how we might move forward from our current station. We are called to remain together, both outwardly and inwardly as we face trials and tribulations along our journey.
This text has guided my life for 10 years. I turned to it whenever I needed a reminder of the necessity of having chosen family along life’s journey. As I reread it now in the face of both political and personal disjointing, I believe that this text can inspire its readers to refocus and keep moving on, even when things feel too tough.
While I typically stay away from “The Message” for a variety of reasons one line in its recounting of this text stands out to me every time:
“Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.”
What a timely reminder! Beloveds, everything that we are, think, and do are filled with the oneness of God found in Christ Jesus. We are created to be individuals who possess varied gifts from the holy spirit but we journey together – we share the load. The oneness of humanity is vital to transforming the world as we see it right now. During this time of Lent, which leads us towards the cross, let this oneness center your journey. We are better together than we are apart.
God our strength and our purpose, you have knit us together in your Kin-dom as siblings and companions of one another. As we gather throughout this time of Lent we pray that you re-center us and reaffirm our gifts in the world and in the Church. Remind us of the ways in which you’re still speaking into the world and let us decipher your will for us without succumbing to the pressures placed on us by society.