“One Little Word”
I serve with the pastoral team at Newberg (OR) Friends Church. That’s different from serving on the pastoral team, since I’m not a pastor. The little word with carries important meaning in that regard. The agenda at our Tuesday team meetings often includes brainstorming—you know, “There are no bad ideas.” Lead pastor Gregg Koskela recently asked us for input on a sermon series he was considering on the Quaker queries. We batted around different approaches to the topic but didn’t find much energy around questions that ask for a yes or no response. “Do you…?”; “Are you…?” Then one pastor suggested we add the word How in front of each query. Suddenly everything changed. The discussion came to life because of one little word.
I’m sure you can think of examples of your own, when a few letters of the alphabet have brought clarity or change. I find deep meaning in the small words the apostle Paul speaks in Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Paul might not have been a Quaker, but he speaks my mind. My spiritual death has already occurred—without any pain, because he did all the suffering. Yet because of his resurrection, he lives in me, not simply in my heart, but in my whole self—mind, soul, and body. We find other significant small words in that verse, but the wonder of his gift of eternal life often catches me off guard, and I have to stop and say thank you.
PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for your work in me.
SONG: May the Mind of Christ, My Savior
My final assignment was to write a devotional using the Fruit of the Vine guidelines. And now the writing class is complete. World without end, amen.