At my Ecclesiastical Council, the last examination of me before approval for ordination, my now friend and colleague, the Rev. Rick Wagner, asked me a hard question. (He tells the story now that the meeting was going too easily and he wanted to challenge me a bit!) He asked me to tell the gathered group my understanding and experience of soteriology. As my performance anxiety froze my brain and the only thought I had was, “Oh no! I’m sure I should know that word! Oh no!” Rick graciously turn to the crowd and said, “For those of you unfamiliar with the term, soteriology is the doctrine of salvation.”
I told the group about my understanding and experience of renewal found in salvation, the reuniting of me and God, over and over again, along my journey of life and faith. By the grace of God, salvation hasn’t been a, “once and done,” kind of experience for me, but an ongoing reminder and renewal of who and whose I am. Each and every day. Some days, each and every hour. A renewed right connection with my Creator, our Beautiful Parent, God.
I find great comfort in the fact that I keep getting to make new and more choices each and every day. And God refuses to give up on me. This is a great reminder to me that soteriology rests in the hands of God, not mine, praise the Lord! No matter what I do, no matter what I don’t do, the things I’ve said and left unsaid, I am claimed as God’s beautiful child. And the same goes for you.
So, as you are ringing in the New Year, looking back on how things have gone and making lists and plans for the year that lies ahead, remember who and whose you are. Remember that no matter what gets done on that list and what is left undone, what accomplishments are achieved and those that remain out of reach, you are a perfect child of God and beautiful to behold!
Have a Happy and Blessed New Year!!
Associate Conference Minister