What I’m reading today: 1 Corinthians 10
A few weeks ago, I innocently introduced a new resource into the life of the church I currently serve. The new resource was a songbook.
I guess I should note the songbook wasn’t exactly a traditional songbook. By that I mean it wasn’t a songbook published by professions that we simply purchased from a store. No, this songbook was different. The church purchased copyright licenses from two companies that would allow us to reproduce a variety of songs for inclusion.
Now to this point in the story there is nothing particularly radical about the songbook. Many churches have resources like this. Most churches, however, limit who can choose songs to be included. They would have the pastor, the music director, or the members of a worship team decide what songs to include.
I took the selection process one step further. I invited each member of the community to share one of their favorite songs to be included. I promised them I would try to keep my control issues in check and not censor their contributions. This means members of the community get an unfiltered sense of the musical/theological preferences of others in the faith community.
This process of releasing my control is HUGELY terrifying for me – for some people think the pastor’s primary job is to control/regulate things. I don’t. I believe a pastor’s call (or at the very least my call) is to empower people to participate in exciting new ways in all aspects of the community.
So why am I talking about all of this today?
Because as I face my fears of letting go of control in order to empower others, Paul’s words to the Corinthians in today’s passage deeply resonated with my soul. When he wrote, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; God will never let you get pushed past your limit; God will always be there to help you come through it” – I feel like he’s speaking to me. And when he added, “I’m not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I’m going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large-minded Master has already said” – I feel as if I’m (almost) up for any challenge.
Perhaps there is an area of your life where you’ve felt called to take a risk lately. Maybe you’ve talked yourself out of taking that risk – preferring instead to “walk on eggshells”. If so, hold on tight to those simple – yet beautiful – words from Paul. “God will never let you down”. They might help get you over the hump.
I realize words may certainly not always feel true when you are in the midst of challenges that push you to your limits. The longer I live, however, the more I grow into a deeper understanding of those words. It is that understanding that gives me the courage to try to live (and minister) outside the boxes.
Til next time…