The Center for Leadership Excellence, in partnership with COSROW, is pleased to lift up the voices of women in ministry encouraging fellow women in ministry. Please enjoy this month’s Encouragement from Molly Shivers, director of Conflict Transformation Ministries. Anyone can sign up to receive these monthly emails here.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
~ Hebrews 13:8 (NRSVue)
In the early 2000s, I served as pastor to a church of about 80 members. One of the favorite hymns of the congregation was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” and we sang it often. The hymn has this lovely refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
I have served in ordained ministry for almost 24 years. To say I have seen change would be an understatement! Some change has felt positive and inspiring. Some change has felt negative and discouraging. The recent changes/disaffiliations in our denomination and annual conference have been deeply inspiring for some and deeply discouraging for others. As one who has remained United Methodist, I grieve for the losses we endure.
Grief and loss are not easily or quickly resolved. I would not suggest otherwise, and I am suspicious of simple, one-size-fits-all formulas. The one thing that helps me when I become chronically sad and worried about the church is to turn my eyes upon Jesus. When the Holy Spirit helps me remember that Jesus is Lord of the Church, my anxiety lessens (if even for a moment). God offers a moment of grace.
Reflect: What does it mean for you to turn your eyes upon Jesus? Are there practices that help you see Jesus more clearly?
Take Action: How might you claim the promise that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever?
Center for Leadership Excellence and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women