Lectionary study group did not meet this week. Several of the brethren (used without gender bias) are in the midst of the most painful of social conditions – the communal questioning of the role God has called them too and the responsibility God has laid on their charges for their support.
The lectionary Gospel reading is Matthew 25.13-30. This parable is about the risk of faith. This risk is magnified in this lives of those who are called to ordained service.
Yes, I know the word “ordained” as it is applied to clergy is not in New Testament, but yet, it is implied and the offices are established. The Book of Hebrews chapter 13 contains a directive to not make their lives miserable or to take them for granted, but such is our age.
Another pastor I know has expressed to me (and also in his well read blog) the concept of a ministerial guild. I have encouraged this pastor to use his influence to begin a movement in this direction. He does not believe he has the energy nor the following to do so.
As for myself, I have begun to seek such a structure of support. I may have found that it has existed for some time. I am going to explore, with the Lord’s help, the possibility of entering this structure. I believe it may be the best hope (especially for smaller churches) for the future of the community of faith in America (most more so than the civil religion so, so many have embraced).
Along with the lectionary passage, I have decided to revisit the Ten Commandments as a series for the community I now serve. I am hoping it will be refreshing to me and to them.