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The Impact of Devotion

But these also were godly men, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;  Sirach 44:10

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

We often think that service to God must be in grand achievements and bold enterprises. We sometimes focus on saints of great stature, whose holiness seems far beyond our daily, stumbling efforts to be faithful. Admiration of great achievements and great character is a good thing. But we miss something important if we feel that such devotion is beyond us, or that our imperfect lives do nothing to serve God.

 

Today at 2:00, we will gather to give thanks for one of our parishioners, Mariama Duncan, whose death we learned of recently. We know so little about her. She grew up in Liberia, in West Africa. She worked as a nurses’ aid at Manor Care and later at Solana. She was no captain of industry, nor did she acquire any grand title in the church. And yet, her daily faithfulness impacted many around her.

 

She was a steady presence in worship, and there was something about her that radiated a joy in the Lord. Even in hard times, she trusted in God and found joy in God’s provision for her. When her death was announced, many people came forward to ask about her. Many people were impacted by her faith and witness to God. She made a difference in the lives of many, simply by her prayers and her presence, and her abiding love for Jesus.

 

I don’t mean to discourage you from leadership in ministry and vocation; rather I hope to encourage you that the foundation of any great service to God is that humble devotion to our Lord, the daily placing of ones’ self into God’s hands. None of us is perfect, and yet God invites us closer every day. The more we walk with God each day and abide in his presence, the more his presence will impact who we are. And God’s presence in us will impact those around us, especially as we open ourselves to him, and to love others as he has loved us.

 

God bless you this Lent with devotion to him that transforms the world.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

-Tom

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