“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Timothy 3:14 ESV)
We are looking forward to returning to gather in a physical space with one another this Sunday! As we seek to continue where we left off, the events of the last three months certainly occupy a space in our minds. Covid-19, a weakened church, political polarization, riots and looting, questions about justice, and other issues have not only headlined news stories, they have impacted us all. What is the church to do?
Many in the world are calling for people of faith to respond. Do we join the marches and protests or condemn them? Do we fight for justice or remain silent? Do we comply with the government or challenge it? To complicate matters, how a church chooses to respond can be a cause of division within the church. These are sensitive times, and many are claiming that silence is not an option.
There is nothing new under the sun, however. 2,000 years ago, Paul penned a letter to his disciple Timothy, in which he pointed to the reality that the last days would be filled with ungodliness (2 Tim 3:1-8). Intriguingly, though he lists numerous characteristics of wickedness, Paul doesn’t tell Timothy to shift his ministry focus toward any one of these things. Rather, he simply tells him to “continue.”
Continue in the faith. Continue doing what you are doing. Continue calling sin what it is. Continue following the example of godly leaders. Continue believing and preaching the scriptures. Timothy – the world is an evil place, but as for you, continue.
Paul’s admonition to Timothy is God’s admonition to us today. This admonition does not suggest that the church turn a blind eye to the issues of the day, but that the issues of the day do not dictate to the church what her priorities are. If the church is to be salt and light, the church needs to be . . . . the church.
Let us therefore determine that our emphasis will not be found in our responses to the world’s ills, but in our response to God’s word. May we seek to continue for the glory of Jesus Christ.