As I have done in previous Lents I am sharing a daily reflection as part of my Lenten discipline. This year I am using the “Wilderness Wanderings” theme compiled by the “Lent Photo a Day” group. The word appointed for February 23rd, was “Heart.”
“Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.” – 2 Corinthians 4:1, NRSV.
This is the start of the chapter that was by and large the favorite grounding passage for the Congregational Mission and Leadership program I studied in at Luther Seminary. It’s a rich passage of wonder, affirmation, collaboration, as well as a reminder of what truly matters.
In verse 5 we are reminded that “we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as slaves for Jesus’ sake.” In verse 8 we hear what has more recently been used as the verse lyrics for the song, “Trading My Sorrows,” as the text reads, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” I encourage you to read the whole chapter.
What strikes me is that this is such a missional and sending thing? It’s a reminder of the kind of work we are called into in our lives, service, vocations, ministry, leadership, etc. It also reminds us that we are part of something way bigger than ourselves. And in that reminder, we can find heart.
Love, passion, courage, these are all things that are part of what having heart means to mean. For me it also means pouring yourself into something. Sometimes this can be a life giving thing, other times, it can hurt, especially when things may not work out quite the way you might have been hoping or expecting.
I mention this chapter, 2 Corinthians 4, because I have been living in this passage this week. It’s been a great week of conversations, hopeful discernment, a smashing success of the inaugural “Theology Uncorked,” great affirmation and more. It’s also been a week of wrestling with the hard parts related to these, relationships, and more. In the midst of this, the words of 2 Corinthians 4:16, “So we do not lose heart,” gives me great peace and assurance.
What does heart mean to you? What does having heart look and feel like to you?