Lenten Devotional: March 2

Psalm 37; Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Titus 1:1-16; John 1:29-34

“I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done.” Titus 1:5

The Epistle to Titus is one of three Pastoral Epistles describing the administration and pastoral care of new churches, referring to the people, not a building.

Verse 5 reminds me of a recent talk at Adult Forum about life and religion in Russia and the closing of churches for seventy years during the 20th century under the regime that punished by death or exile, and later by social ostracization, those who wished to follow Christ. If our churches were closed and turned into museums or science labs our faith would be tested.

But not everyone gave up their faith. I have often heard how Russian grandmothers passed their faith to their grandchildren and our talk reinforced this with mention of secret baptisms. Just as often happened in biblical days, when the Russian churches could be reopened, there was a remnant ready.

Is our faith and love of the church such that we could “put in order what needed to be done” if we were called to organize the administration and pastoral care of our church? Do we fully appreciate the freedom to worship openly and deeply? Do we appreciate our beautiful building and the peaceful grounds where our loved ones can be laid to rest?

“Praise the Lord O My Soul I will praise the Lord as long as I live.” Psalm 146:1-2