• Steven Marsh

Resolve: a Reflection on Psalm 16, Isaiah 51:9-16, Hebrews 11:8-16, and John 7:14-31

Many neighborhood and rural congregations are struggling. According to Angie Mabry-Nauta, nine U.S. churches close almost every day.

I often ask the question that John poses about the resolve of a congregation to do the will of God and the teaching of the church being rooted in the heart and voice of God.

Resolve means to be firmly committed; to mission; in time, with resources, to someone; and with one’s presence.

David’s cry for protection makes sense. His resolve caused enemies. But, David remained in his resolve and took refuge in his God.

God is our Maker. God is the One who knows us best and loves us the most. So, one’s resolve, if a follower of Jesus, must keep the Maker front and center.

Resolve requires obedience. And like Abraham, followers of Jesus are asked to follow not really knowing where. Often, we will not receive the promise, but we see it from afar. And that is okay. That is being faithful…the sight of the promise fulfilled.

It is an exciting time to be a follower of Jesus. It is an increasingly difficult time to be a local congregation, in a neighborhood setting.

Perhaps a significant form of resolve is to identify what the essential character of a church is, biblically, and then stick to it.

Scripture readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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