A Future Not Our Own
It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives include everything.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
(excerpted from a prayer by composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, MI)
I have portions of this prayer on a poster in my office. We speak of the season of Lent as a journey, and I’ve been down this path quite a few times now. Some days it seems that perhaps things are going well, and then there are days when progress in life and ministry seem slow. That’s when we need the ‘long view’.
We serve our Lord Jesus, and we seek to do all things well in his name. But even when our steps falter we need to recall the promise that this ministry is bigger than our own efforts. As it is stated in Ephesians 3:20-21 — Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Pastor John Twiton