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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own insight.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)


I am about to have my final Sunday with you as your interim rector. I put it that way because I believe I will be back with you on another Sunday - for a visit, or to celebrate the arrival of your new rector, or perhaps both. I would have loved for the timing to be such that I left one Sunday and your new rector began the next week. But alas, my preferences and God’s timing are - quite often - not the same. As faithful people have said about the Holy One over the centuries, “God is never late but rarely early.”

I think the two verses above are a good reminder for all of us on this day. I am going to reflect on these words, one phrase at a time…


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…”


Where are we asked to place our trust? In the Lord. And we are invited to do that with our whole heart. There is always a temptation to trust in only ourselves… to trust in our minds… to trust in what we can see… to trust in what another person has told us. Don’t get me wrong, we need to listen to others. We need to trust our own wisdom and intuition. But not to the exclusion of trusting God!

God has certain ways and a certain wisdom and a level of love and compassion that transcends what we are capable of. And God’s word accomplishes God’s purposes. (See Isaiah 55:8-11.) God has a knack for bringing good out of evil, life out of death, joy out of sorrow, abundance out of apparent scarcity, and victory out of defeat.

There is no better place to put our trust than in God.


“… and do not rely on your own insight.”


It is not that you and I are incapable of insight. In my 15 months with you, I have heard brilliant insights come from your mouths! But in my experience, our most powerful insights come when we are connected to the Vine… when we are abiding in Christ. Insight apart from God… what we might call “worldly insight”… doesn’t tend to reach the level of “the common good” - does not tend to be truly transformative.


“In all your ways acknowledge him…”


In all your ways acknowledge Yahweh… acknowledge God… acknowledge Christ… acknowledge the Spirit.

We can forget to give God the credit. I certainly do this. I can forget to acknowledge God as the great initiator of all that is - of creation… of love… of forgiveness and mercy… of wisdom… of justice and peace and righteousness… of reconciliation and unity… of salvation… of new life… of eternal life… of EVERYTHING.

In a culture where we hear so many messages along the lines of either “Look how great I am!” Or “Look how terrible I am!”, we need to remember - each day - to acknowledge God and the greatness of God and the God who is Love. And we need to do that in all of our ways and ALWAYS.


“… and he will make straight your paths.”


It is so easy to get off the path. It is so easy to wander. It is so easy to have “own way” - to become a lost sheep or… a lost flock!

But when we acknowledge that we need a shepherd, we discover that the Good Shepherd is right there - leading us to the best food, yanking us away from the chasms and cliffs, protecting us from danger and evil, and - most of all - traveling with us through the valley of the shadow of death.

This is a great Scripture for us to carry in our hearts - as individuals, as families, and as St. Luke’s. As you continue to listen for God’s direction in your life… as you continue learning how to love your family members, your co-workers, your enemies, yourself, your brothers and sisters at St. Luke’s… as you continue to care for the planet… as you continue with the search for your next rector… as I make the transition into “the third act” of my life, may we take these words with us.


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own insight.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.”