A Pastoral Parenthesis

Exalting Christ in community and mission

A Pastoral Parenthesis

I love accuracy.  I love getting an argument valid, tight, and logically correct.  That comes from the teaching side, and it doesn’t necessarily involve people.  But I love pastoring (well, at least sometimes).  Pastoring involves loving people, rejoicing with people, weeping with people; it’s hard, and it’s good. It’s where the rubber of the good doctrine hits the road.

This is where John takes us today.  He is in between teaching and preaching two great pillars in the book.  He has just taught about light and darkness, and how loving our brothers implies that we walk in the light.  Before he leaps to the next pillar that warns against loving the world and the things of the world, he gives us a pastoral parenthesis.

Stop the hike, he says, let’s rest a minute and have a reminder.  I love you, and I don’t want you to ever forget this.  I’m even going to repeat myself as I give this to you.  Young children (all believers), you need to always remember the glorious goodness of the gospel – your sins are forgiven because of the great name/person of Christ, not because of how great your faith is or how good you’re doing.  Rejoice in knowing the Father.  Older believers, finish well.  You have known Christ.  Pass this along to younger men/women, and keep on keepin’ on until the end. Younger men/women, be passionate for the right things.  Use that youthful strength to fight the right battles, not the reckless ones.

We’re in a culture that exhorts us to bail out on anything that we don’t feel fits our schedule.  Don’t be that guy – persevere and overcome.  In the end, we overcome because Christ overcame.  (Rev 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony)

Rev. Darol Timberlake