Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the other (Proverbs 27:17). The Hebrew of the second phrase translates woodenly, “so one sharpens the face of his friend.”
In the season of stewardship, “making the most of the time” has been our theme. I want to ask, has your involvement at Calvary sharpened you? Has it inspired, or invited growth, or challenged you to be bolder, to step out in faith, to give, to lead? Has it caused you not to put off good that could be done? Are you a better disciple of Christ in the world because of it?
I have served as your pastor for over four and a half years now and counting. Is anyone else surprised by this? I have been reflecting on this. As a pastor, I often feel a range of responsibility. I am responsible to Christ. I am responsible to the Presbytery. I am responsible to my own sense of integrity as a minister called at such a time. It is hard to know how to evaluate success, or faithfulness, or even progress. But in the end, I hope that iron sharpens iron. I hope that we have pushed each other closer to Christ and challenged each other to consider if we have given what we could, pitched in where it was called for, loved when it was needed or even difficult, and led when our hearts connected to a need. I hope that we have been a voice and a presence that speaks God’s truth to each other: that you are loved and called and capable.
In the season of stewardship, we consider how we are living a life of gratitude, and how we steward all of life in light of Christ’s love toward us. We consider how we use our time, at what level we will give. We consider as a church where we will direct our mission work. And we consider if the fruit is in keeping with the love God has first shown us. Do our lives reflect the joy of salvation and love? Does the use of our time reflect a desire to grow and serve and care? Does the use of our resources demonstrate trust in the God who provides for us and leads us?
I have been your pastor for four and a half years and counting. I may be saying much of the same things over and over at this point. You may have tuned me out. I generally assume that a majority percentage of what I say as a pastor is ignored or is unable to be absorbed at the time. But I hope, even so, that iron sharpens iron. That even in the resistance, or the receptiveness, or the plodding along, that we are sharpening each other. That we are more attuned to what God has called us to as individuals and as a church because of this pastor-congregation relationship. I hope, and I expect that I am, more attuned to what it means to listen and care and walk along side. I hope that you, and I expect you are, are more attuned to what it means to listen to the Spirit as a church as we discern what God has called us to.
May we continue to sharpen one another in this season of service, friends.
Grace and Peace,