Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Our Little Corner

   I was blessed to stand in a crowd of family, friends and enlisted soldiers and commissioned officers a week ago to see Kris Farrar pinned with the two bars signifying his promotion to the rank of Captain in the United States Army. It was great to see Nicole and their two boys standing proudly with Kris for the brief, but meaningful, ceremony.
   Two of Kris' supervising officers spoke of his excellence in leadership. They gave specific instances of how his work has served the mission of the infantry training unit that Kris helps to run and how all of their work there serves the larger mission of the entire Department of Defense. I love the way our military is able to connect specific actions and the people who carry them out with the greater mission that each has signed up for. In the middle of the ceremony, the commanding officer offered a few words of inspiration to every soldier who was present. He said,

We are each responsible for our little corner of the Army. - Lieutenant Colonel Jim Pangelinan

He went on to say that every one of them oversees their part of what is happening to advance the mission and every one has the ability to expand what they are doing for the good of the cause.
   My mind raced. As the son of a retired military officer, my father was in the Coast Guard Reserve for thirty years, I knew this to be true. I also delight in the close friendships I have with current officers in the Air Force, Army and Navy. His statement resonated with what I know of each of their work and service, but I could not help but think that the truth he had so eloquently captured with a few words was applicable far beyond military service.
   We are each responsible for our little corner of God's Kingdom. God has chosen to order the world in such a way that we are called to be partners in God's work.
   Paul, an early Christian leader who helped start churches and wrote about the mission of the people of God, described the Church's responsibility as "the ministry of reconciliation" because "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself" (2 Corinthians:5:18-19). God's ultimate purpose is to reconcile - bring back and make right - all people to Himself. The Church plays an important role in achieving this mission. We are called to live (by deed and word) in such a way that we point to the very heart of God's love for the world - which is Jesus Christ crucified that we might have life.
   The mission of Epworth is to connect and equip all kinds of people to seek, serve and share Christ. How am I helping achieve this mission? How am I doing with my little corner of the Kingdom?
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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