Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
1 Peter 5:1-10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Tending the Flock of God
5 Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you 2 to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight,[a] not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it[b]—not for sordid gain but eagerly. 3 Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders.[c] And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for
“God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert.[d] Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters[e] in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
When I was ordained, the bishop read this passage of scripture to us, reminding us of the responsibility of our calling to “tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly.” He reminded us of the attitude of leadership we were to have in the church—servant leadership. He read these words: “Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock.”
While these words apply to pastors, for sure, they also apply to the church in general. The writer of 1 Peter goes on to address everyone: “And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” This very much echoes the words of Jesus, when he said, “whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.” Servant leadership in any position is best and comes from strength. Those who “lord it over” others general do so out of weakness.
How are we to live? Here is a summary of this passage:
- Be a servant—in your leadership and in your living.
- Humble yourself.
- Cast all your anxiety on God because God cares for you.
- Discipline yourself.
- Resist temptation.
- Trust in God.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster