I was blessed today to read a devotional taken from the Confessing Church Movement of the United Methodist Church. I am thankful for the umbrella metaphor applied to Jesus’ great high priestly prayer for us by Dr. Jameson Jones, formerly of Duke Divinity School:
“Dr. Jameson Jones, former Dean of Duke Divinity School, said that the church is like an umbrella. Some people think of an umbrella as a shelter or as a way of getting out of the rain. But that’s not what an umbrella is. The umbrella is what enables you to leave the shelter of the building and go out into the world where the storms are. In all the storms of life, all the tragedies, all the troubles, the church is the umbrella that allows you to go out and live in the midst of them without fear; indeed, with confidence and joy. You come into the sanctuary—into the fellowship, into the community—to find nurture, strength, faith, and confidence that enable you to go out into the world and serve in the name of Jesus.”
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one…Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (John 17:15-18).
So, I invite you to pray as I do:
Lord of new life, cover me with Thy truth not that I may retreat into the sheltering past of yesterday’s sanctuary, but that I advance into this stormy opportunities of day’s mission. Amen.