Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am sorry this edition of the newsletter is so late. It is to my chagrin that it is February when I am at last writing this article. It was on my list of things to get done around Christmas, and it never got done. It was on pretty high priority after I got back from vacation in early January, but with one thing and another, it kept getting pushed off by things with higher priority. My biggest consolation is that it seems I waited until it started snowing again, so I can try to trick myself by singing “White Christmas” in my head and make-believe that everything is on time.
The truth of the matter is that I was unable to meet all my obligations, and a project (this newsletter) was delayed because of me. The reason I write about this, other than by way of apology to you, the readers of this newsletter, is because I think that there is a lesson here for all of us.
I know that I am not the only one who has done such a thing as this. You may have over-committed yourself and missed a deadline for your work, or perhaps it was a commitment that you couldn’t keep with a friend or family member. Maybe it was a commitment to the church or to another organization that just didn’t get done.
The true question is, what do we do when we find ourselves in such a situation? Do we try to hide the fault or make excuses? Often. Do we walk away from the situation, or blow up in anger? Hopefully not. How do we act when we have let down those we care for? How do we react when others have let us down?
For disciples of Jesus Christ, the answer has to be with truth and grace. We are called to acknowledge and even point out when something is wrong. We are also called to be compassionate and forgiving in the face of repentance.
As we enter into this year, as we spend this year looking hard at discipleship, at what it means to follow God, to follow Jesus, we will probably make quite a few mistakes. We will probably get it wrong time and again as we try to be more clear about how we are called to follow God; at how we are growing in love through relationship with God, each other, and our neighbors.
But more importantly than the fact that we will make mistakes and that we will fail, is how we live in the face of these failures. Are you willing to speak the truth to one another and say what worked and what did not? Are you willing to say, I tried to do this but I didn’t for these reasons? And are you willing to extend grace and love to yourself and one another in the face of these failings?
Friends, I want to grow in love as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want for you to grow similarly. And I want for many more people in this community to have an opportunity to grow with us. I believe that we will do this through truth and grace.
May the grace and truth of God be known in you and through you.
Pastor Dan Benson