Encouragement for the Journey: Embracing Our Mission in Faith and Humility
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ:
In our mission to grow grace, live hope, serve love, St. Peter’s is often confronted with challenges, doubts, and moments that test our faith. The Scriptures offer us guidance, encouragement, and reassurance that through these very experiences, we remain anchored in our mission and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit.
I encourage you now to break out your Bible and read the passages sited in this article as we explore God’s call to our mission of grace, hope, and love.
Embracing Grace Amidst Doubt: The Scriptures are replete with instances where doubt takes center stage. Whether it's the Israelites fashioning a golden calf (Exodus 32:1-4) when Moses seems to have deserted them, or the disciples doubting Jesus’ resurrection (John 20:24-29), these narratives serve as reminders of the faith we share. They tell us that doubt isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather a part of the human experience. The key is to return to faith, as Thomas did when he touched the wounds of Jesus. Likewise, as we work to "grow grace," we must allow room for questions but also remain committed to returning to our foundational beliefs.
The Courage to Face Giants: When the spies returned from Canaan (Numbers 13:25-14:4), they were overwhelmed by the giants that occupied the land. Fear overcame them, but Joshua and Caleb urged the people to trust in the Lord’s promise. In a similar vein, Peter stepped out onto the water, emboldened by faith (Matthew 14:22-33), and even as his faith faltered, Jesus lifted Peter to safety. Both stories emphasize that living hope involves facing our giants—whether they be personal struggles or collective challenges—with faith in God's promise, presence, plan, and deliverance.
Serving Love Through Humble Leadership: Jesus emphasized the value of humility when He told His disciples that the greatest among them would be the least (Luke 9:46-48). This teaching is reinforced by Paul's message to the Corinthians, stating that God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-31). As we endeavor to "serve love," we are reminded that our work is not to glorify ourselves but to follow Christ’s example of humble service.
The Paradox of Strength and Weakness: Paul’s message to the Galatians (Galatians 3:1-5) and the healing of the boy with an unclean spirit (Mark 9:14-29) illustrate how human strength often falls short. In contrast, the “foolishness” of God’s wisdom and the “weakness” of faith can bring about extraordinary outcomes. Here, the promise of rest (Hebrews 4:1-13) can only be fulfilled when we let go of our arrogance and self-sufficiency and fully embrace the grace and power of God.
The Ongoing Mission: As we continue our journey, let's not forget the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and Jesus’ words during His ascension (Acts 1:6-7). The disciples worshipped but some doubted, and yet Jesus entrusted them with a global mission. This gives us assurance that despite our imperfections and moments of doubt, we are all capable of great things through Christ who strengthens us, and in the Spirit in whom we dwell.
So, as we work to fulfill our mission at St. Peter’s, let us remember that doubt and struggles are an intrinsic part of our faith journey. By accepting our human frailty and trusting in God's strength, we position ourselves to grow grace, live hope, and serve love.
In Christ’s Love,
St. Peter's Lutheran Church