The Word who is trustworthy

[A bishop] must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9)

The Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, where I serve as a deacon, is preparing to elect a new bishop. Our bishop, Russ Jacobus, has announced his retirement, and the Standing Committee is working on a diocesan profile so share with those who are eventually nominated. The election will take place in October.

Already this year, we have had several survey days for members of the diocese to discuss what is required (and desired) in a bishop, and what is required of each of us as members of Christ’s Body, the Church.

“Having a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy …” is an awfully good place to start.

One of the particular treasures of the Daily Office is that it soaks you in Scripture. You can’t help it — as you follow the Daily Office lectionary, you read all 150 Psalms every seven weeks, the New Testament in the course of a year, and the Old Testament over the course of two years.

But even more than that, in the Daily Office you read Scripture in the context of worship, in the context of prayer, in the context of a living relationship with Jesus, the Word who himself is trustworthy.

“I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God,” says John the Baptist in tonight’s Gospel reading (John 1:34).

It’s not just bishops who need to be able to “preach with sound doctrine.” All of us bear witness to the love we have known in Jesus, the love revealed on every page of the Scriptures and in every canticle and collect of the Daily Office.

I have seen and have testified to the Word who is trustworthy. You can trust him, too.

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