Stay the course

2 Timothy 3:14—4:5

When I first encountered God’s calling me to ministry, I thought of Jacob’s encounter at the ford of the Jabbok. While wrestling with me and my hesitations, down along the riverbank, God whispered in my ear, “Barb: If you are going to tell a story, tell my story.” Ever since that day, honoring that stipulation has been part of the privilege and part of the burden in this vocation called ministry. Timothy, pastoring in the first-century church, might have been struggling to arrive at a similar balance. In this second letter from Paul to his protégé, we observe Paul directing the younger pastor to “stay the course.” Paul reflects pastor to pastor about the joy, the burden and the responsibility we pastors accept when we step up to ministry and agree to sacred wrestling with God and God’s holy word. (I’m calling the mature pastor/author Paul although scholars doubt that Paul wrote this epistle.)


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