7/5/21 Devotional from Ed
July 5, 2021
Text: Ephesians 2:10
For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
Devotional: "Around 1910, William Temple, the future archbishop of Canterbury and son of Frederick, the archbishop of Canterbury, complained to his father that he did not have the time to do all that needed to be done. "William,' said his father, 'you have all the time there is."
Theologian/priest Richard Neuhaus remembers this story in one of his books, but he acknowledges its difficulty: "I tell myself that frequently, especially when I am worried about getting done more than it is mine to do: You have all the time there is."
We're not given more time.
July 4 is a favorite holiday because it allows a chance for many to slow down and spend time celebrating our country. However, once the holiday celebration is over, once "normalcy" resumes (maybe it already has), what will we do with our time?
Many are consumed with tasks, either in an office, at home, or caring for a loved one. However, something may be getting neglected, most likely physical or mental well-being. Caring for something or someone else no doubt is a gesture of Christian love, but so is caring for yourself.
Reminding ourselves that we're not given more time is hard but important. However, God has also given us these instructions told in the Gospel of Matthew:
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Many in our high-achieving society excel in two of these 3 tasks, tasks that all work together: loving God and loving our neighbor. However, what about ourselves? If all time is spent on other tasks, then....
This writing for Neuhaus is a humbling reminder that we're not given more time. A "good work," however doesn't always include living life for or in the other. The writer to the Ephesians reminds us that taking care of ourselves is also a good work and part of God's handiwork.
Prayer for the week: We pray this day for a fresh anointing of your Spirit, the Spirit that nourishes and sustains us. Calm any anxieties we have, and empower us to draw the strength needed to take care of not only our neighbor, but also ourselves. Amen.