2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 (NRSV)
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Verse 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, Verse 15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Verse 16All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, Verse 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
Chapter 4In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: Verse 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. Verse 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, Verse 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. Verse 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
Who taught you about God, Jesus Christ, and life as God’s child? What were their views? While completing my MA degree in theology, I used Bibles from various denominations. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish Bibles often vary in their book list and order, each often revealing the English translators’ theological perspectives about God. Does God value males as creation’s pinnacle or does God equally value and promote all genders? Does God chiefly value lives lived by faith-as-trust or does God want lives lived according to a set of rules? How we have been taught to interpret scripture affects the message we will pass on.
Our current national and denominational debates often center around who should hold power, privilege, and leadership. Shall we retain traditional structures intrinsically benefitting white males, or favor new paradigms of leadership sharing power with all genders and ethnicities? The answers will lie in part with how the majority views their role in relationship with God.
Almighty God, we love you and seek to do your will, not our own. Help us see all of creation, including all people, through your eyes of love, striving to be your steward in all things. Amen.