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Daily Devotional • April 30

Ben Hankinson
Humbling Ourselves
A Reading from 1 Peter 5:1-11

1 Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you 2 to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it, not for sordid gain but eagerly. 3 Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger must be subject to the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for

“God opposes the proud
  but gives grace to the humble.”

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

Peter writes to his fellow elders in today’s epistle, and in it, he exhorts those who will read and hear his letter. He writes as someone who knows what they face, as someone who gets it. 

We all need someone who gets it. Despite the temptation to lace up our boots and “lone ranger” whatever it is we’re facing, we need others who can comment on what’s going on in gentle, or not so gentle, ways. Sometimes it’s simply enough to know that we’re not alone in this. Sometimes we may be prompted to humble ourselves or to submit to discipline. And sometimes we’re called to be the one who offers an exhortation to others as well. 

Anyone can find themselves in a lonely or isolated position, be it physical or relational, a product of circumstances or the consequence of words and actions. Yet, while we each have our particular calling and conditions, we are all part of one ministry as the Church, our brothers and sisters with us in the body of Christ and in the glory to be revealed.

We give thanks for the blessings of mutual encouragement and exhortation in our lives and ministries. Through the ups and the downs, we are able to witness together to the sufferings of Christ who is himself ever with us. He, above all others, knows what it is that we face. Jesus gets it, even if or when no one else does.

The Rev. Benjamin Hankinson is the Director of Admissions for Nashotah House Theological Seminary and Priest in Charge of St. James in West Bend, Wisconsin. Originally from South Carolina, he has also served parishes in the Diocese of Springfield.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

St. Thomas’s Church, Toronto, Ontario
The Episcopal Church
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