Few times in the year present more pressure and stress than the week before Christmas and Easter. In fact, the demands feel so overwhelming that we often lose our own center in Jesus. So allow me to offer, in a few words, three reminders that may help you this week:
- Jesus wants you more than your leadership. You were called. Chosen. You didn’t initiate your discipleship. He did. Why? First, to be with you, to enjoy loving union with you. Any work we do for him is to flow from that place. The Eastern Orthodox church, historically, has placed a healthy emphasis on breathing and prayer as a tangible way to abide in Jesus. Close your eyes for a few seconds now. Inhale and exhale slowly, and allow his love to wash over you.
- Jesus is building his church – not you. Jesus said: I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it (Matt. 16:18). He is the exclusive church builder. This challenging work we do belongs entirely to him. Moreover, God alone has the power to grant someone a revelation of Jesus (See Matt. 16:17). We sure cannot. This is immensely hopeful and immensely humbling. Take another slow, deep breath.
- Jesus has a little work for you to do. Your work for God is important to him. But it is small. Consider the complexity of the work God is doing in millions of lives around the world. Consider his innumerable works since the beginning of human history. Imagine yourself looking back at your “to do” list this week after seeing Jesus face to face. Is everything that important? Take a deep breath again. Ask yourself: “If I could accomplish only one thing this next week, what might that be?”
And may God give you grace to do what he has placed before you (John 17:4).