Discernment Devotionals #1

Being and Doing Presbyterian Devotion 1

Covenant Faithfulness

Scripture: Exodus 18:13-27

Focus: 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘What you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.

Book of Order: F- 1.0203 Christ Gives the Church Its Life Christ gives to the Church its faith and life, its unity and mission, its order and discipline.

Scripture teaches us of Christ’s will for the Church, which is to be obeyed. Inthe worship and service of God and the government of the church, matters are to be ordered according to the Word by reason and sound judgment, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Meditation: Change, change and more change is what we as individuals and communities live with every day. We walk around with devices that flash texts and tweets and emails and newsflashes constantly. That great virtue of patience is often sorely lacking. What an extraordinary gift God gives us by joining us to the Living Body of Christ where we are loved and nurtured in His patient love.

We Presbyterians love to strive to do things “decently and in order,” per the great charge of our forebear, John Calvin. We have a tendency, however, to become as harried as Moses was when his father-in-law saw him at work leading the Covenant community.

In this incredibly busy world the very last thing we need is to design structures and meetings that wear God’s people out. Instead, as wise Jethro commended, we need to organize ourselves in ways that meet the needs, but that focus on helping us all discover the rich peace of God.

The plan of organization and shared mission that the Discernment Task Force has laid before us is one that is aimed at helping us be a lively, energetic people in service to God and neighbor in the Upstate of South Carolina. The design is founded in an understanding of the Covenant Faithfulness of God and one that calls us to relationships
that nurture and sustain us in the love of Christ Jesus. As we live amidst times of ongoing and rapid change, the design is clear, but flexible; orderly, but open to experimentation; established in the Presbyterian Foundations, but aimed at helping us live in these ever changing times. To be energetic in witness and service, the world needs and we need a shared life that helps the world to see and us experience the peace of God that passes all understanding (see John 14:25-31.)

Meditation Question: What is it about being and doing Presbyterian gives you a sense of God’s peace?