2 Kings 10:32‐12:21; Acts 18:1‐22; Psalm 145:1‐21; Proverb 18:1
God Is Working His Purpose Out
The hymn “God Is Working His Purpose Out” is one of my favorite hymns. It speaks of the ebb and flow of time, energy, people, and the mission of God. In many ways, this hymn summarizes our texts.
Second Kings speaks of a succession of rulers of Israel and some of Judah. Some of those rulers are good, obedient messengers of God who do His bidding, execute His judgments, and perform the ministrations set before them. Whether they are executing holy wars, collecting offerings and sacrifices, anointing kings, or repairing the Temple, each person seems assigned a task or duty. If done well, they are exalted and blessed by God, and if not… Well, there are no brownie points handed out!
Paul likewise encounters friend and foe, blessing and curse as he ministers in Corinth and in surrounding Achaia. He at times has great response to his preaching of the Risen Christ, and of course there are times when the word falls on deaf ears, and there is little or no response. Such is the “rhythm” of life. Paul seemingly has his fill of preaching to the Jews and shifts to a fully Gentile sharing of the Gospel. We hear of his tentmaking skills and even learn about a haircut!
The Psalm likewise sets things into a carefully anticipated unfolding of the plan and purpose of God. Our works and God’s work are blended together into a rich harmony that anticipates the unfolding of the next step in God’s plan. Let us all look forward to the fullness of time, “when the earth shall be filled with the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
The Rev. Scott T. Holcombe
St. David’s by the Sea Episcopal Church