Friday, February 23, 2018

Devotional for 2nd Sunday of Lent

Second Sunday Reflection
Two by Two in the Midst of Wolves
by Nancy Corson Carter

“After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.’” Luke 10: 1-3

This passage from Luke is included among the events and teachings recorded about Jesus when he has “set his face” to go to Jerusalem. Jesus sends messengers ahead to prepare the way but is met by unwilling villagers and would-be helpers’ excuses.

Then “the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come.” As I read this text, I want to see myself in one of the faithful duos marching out to bring in the Lord’s plentiful harvest. But I know how scary this path may be to travel.

Those wolves may feed upon my own fearfulness and the ways in which I make excuses not to follow Jesus when he calls. In eco-justice terms, the wolves may be polluters, those who claim others’ land and resources as their own (e.g. Doctrine of Discovery usurpers), climate change deniers—all whose acts and intentions desecrate the wonder of God’s creation and impede the harvest of his love.

Why two by two? Common sense suggests numerous reasons: safety, companionship, the multiplied impact of two witnesses to the presence of the kingdom.  In my own ministry, I learn over and over how much, “in the midst of wolves,” I need my faithful friends, my congregation, and groups of kindred spirits like Presbyterians for Earth Care to keep up my courage and my determination.

Prayer:  Holy God, I thank you for so many wonderful partners in ministry in my life—I name them before you. Let me trust that I am not alone, that you are always with me, Emmanuel. Amen.

Nancy Corson Carter, Ph.D., a founding member of the Shalem Society for Contemplative Leadership, leads retreats and workshops in eco-spirituality and literature. She facilitates an Earth Care Committee at the Church of Reconciliation, an accredited PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation in Chapel Hill, NC, and is a publishing writer.

Nominate your Earth Care Hero

Who Is Your Earth Care Hero?

Do you know anyone who has coordinated energy upgrades at their church, or used artistic talent to help form an art collective of liturgical arts for worship and creation? Do you know of an organization that partnered with 10 Presbyterian congregations to be a constant presence on the issue of creation care, sustainability and intentional stewardship? These two individuals and one organization have received annual PEC Awards in the past.

Presbyterians and other people of faith across the country are taking remarkable actions to show how much they care for God’s creation. Presbyterians for Earth Care is pleased to honor those individuals and churches/organizations that are making a positive difference with our Annual Awards, both to thank them and to inspire others to take similar actions. We invite you to make a nomination by Saturday, March 31 for PEC’s 2018 awards that will be presented at the PEC Luncheon on June 19 at General Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri.
Members of or donors to Presbyterians for Earth Care are entitled to make nominations. If you aren’t already a PEC member, you can join or make a donation now. However, an individual does not need to be a Presbyterian to be nominated for an award.

You may nominate individuals for the William Gibson Eco-Justice Award or the Emerging Earth Care Leader Award (for 18-30 year olds). Congregations, governing bodies, ecumenical agencies, and Presbyterian-related entities may be nominated for the Restoring Creation Award. The qualifications for each of these awards are on our website.

If you know of a worthy and creative individual or church/organization, you are invited to make a nomination online. Take a look at our previous award winners to get an idea of who would be a worthy nominee.

You may also mail in a nomination form to PEC, PO Box 9064, Asheville, NC 28815. Nominations close on March 31.

PEC is grateful for your care of God’s creation and for contemplating an individual or organization that deserves to be honored for their good stewardship of our common home.