For Those Who Get A’s–and Those Who Don’t
Bible Excerpt from 2 Timothy 2:8-13
If we are faithless, Christ remains faithful.
Reflection by William C. Green
Our job is not to copy Jesus but to be a committed follower (“disciple”); not to be the teacher but the student. Some of us may be “A” students; others of us, if you’re like me, worry about a low grade. The class may seem too demanding, making us want to escape and skip school. But Jesus makes compellingly clear that God never gives up on us, whatever grades we get and even when we jilt the teacher. And when Jesus himself has to leave, he promises that his spirit, God’s Spirit, will remain with us always. He brings to mind a line from the novelist Julian Barnes’ recent memoir, “Nothing to be Frightened Of”‘: “However much you escape your parents in life, they are likely to reclaim you in death.”
Jesus taught that God is partial to those who are last and lost. This meant not only those on the margins of society, although certainly them. It applies to us, too. We are not as well off as we may think. Jesus condemned complacence more than sin, and a big head more than a doubting heart. “A” students, watch out. Failing students, take heart. Average students, don’t feel mediocre. In the assurance of God’s belief in us—God’s faithfulness toward us—we are claimed by strength and hope far more than anything we can achieve or bring about on our own. And if our grades end up improving–well, why not?
Keep us mindful, O God, of your never-ending faithfulness. Amen.
About the Author
William C. Green has served in the local, Conference, and national settings of the United Church of Christ.
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