The last few weeks in Presbyterian circles in Simcoe County have been exciting ones: new ministers have taken their place amidst the people in Elmvale and Flos and at in Orillia at St. Andrew’s.
Few services are as inspiring as inductions, although admittedly two sermons can seem rather intense.
At St. Andrew’s Orillia on July 31, Elmvale’s new minister Rev. Tom Mason, gave us the message: live authentically, think deeply and lead courageously. Knox Alliston’s minister, Rev. Tobey Boyer reminded us all of our promises and our faith as she inducted Rev. Shelly Chandler.
That can be challenging in these uncertain times – economically and geopolitically, as inflation and as wars rage. They feel threatening.
At St. Andrew’s Barrie today, Rev. Joanne Lee discussed the parable in Luke 12: Jesus talks about servants always being ready and when they are, their master will celebrate them and reward them. https://youtu.be/sD8LSm9xJvI
Similarly, in Isaiah 1, the prophet challenges us to seek justice and care for others. With our uncertain economic landscape, with rising inflation and stagnant wages, it can be scary to share as we worry about whether we will have enough.
Sharing in such a context is courageous. It shows faith that our Lord will provide. It also reminds us that storing up earthly treasures is vain; not one of us can take anything we’ve collected with us when God calls us home. The fancy cars, the yacht, the mansion and its designer contents are all left for others to distribute; essentially, they get recycled, or perhaps more accurately, reused as they go to others or to charity shops .
We are not alone in our caring for others around us. There are others working with us – as the newly inducted ministers in Elmvale, Rev. Tom Mason, and in Orillia. Rev. Shelly Chandler, attest.
In their induction ceremonies, members of their congregations had to promise to work alongside them; everyone renewed their vow to love and serve God and care for others.
It is really simple, but not easy: The night before Jesus went to Calvary to give all He had, He reminded His disciples to love one another as He loves us.
It takes authenticity (being real, being human, being you), deep thinking about God’s love for us and living and sharing courageously.