ADVENT 2022: A SEASON OF REMEMBRANCE AND RESTORATION – 12/14/2022
December 10, 2022
A MENTOR’S REITERATIONS AND REMINDERS
(Dr. Alean Saunders-Coffey, is a member of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church and is the author of Abuela’s Wisdom and The Beauty of Words: Poems and Essays for Uncertain Times)
Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
You may have experienced a time in your personal and/or professional life when someone considered your potential and became your mentor. Perhaps someone selected this person, or, this person invited you to accept their guidance, or, you identified someone because of their influence, character or expertise. If the outcomes of this relationship were positive and helped you grow and develop in your life or life’s work, you are certainly grateful to them. It is likely this individual was honest in their assessment of your capabilities, and, they did not hesitate to share realities and expectations.
Titus, 1Timothy and 2 Timothy, are “Pastoral Epistles” written by the Apostle Paul, in which he extensively and thoroughly defined roles and clarified requirements for persons beginning in ministry and assuming positions of authority in the early Christian church. In these documents, Paul emphasized his commitment to furthering the message and work of Jesus, imparted instructions, expectations, reminders, affirmations, and encouraging words to leaders and followers.
In today’s scriptural passage, Paul was honest and candid in his communication with Titus, an emerging leader in the Christian faith. The Apostle provided Titus with historical and cultural context for the work he was to undertake, and was transparent in his explanation of challenges from audiences adverse to hearing and accepting his message.
Paul reiterated to Titus these principles for Christian conduct and sound doctrine:
- Because of God’s love and mercy, salvation is freely given to those who believed;
- Salvation is not based upon good works or deeds;
- A godly life includes submission to God’s will, obedience to His word and engagement in His work;
- Those who receive His grace can hope for inheritance of eternal life.
In this Advent Season of Remembrance and Restoration, these passages offer us wisdom for living and leading. We can pause and reflect, in gratitude for the joys and blessings we receive every day. We can seek spiritual renewal, revival and restitution. As our faith is renewed, we are strengthened so that we are able to offer compassion, practice kindness, extend hospitality, and encourage peace, thereby reflecting Christ in us and positively influence the world in which we live.