Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the 5th Week of Epiphany: Year 1
“For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.” (2nd Timothy 4:3 and 4)
I think the time that Paul is telling Timothy about is here and has been here for some time. It is somewhat ironic that congregations who want to know more will hire an educated person but only if such a person tells them what they want to hear. Why bother educating ministers if we are not going to learn from them and be guided by their informed leadership?
I have met many people who already have their minds fixed about the Bible and about church. Perhaps the most informative program in the Episcopal Church is Education for Ministry (EfM). This program managed out of The School of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. It is a four year program wherein the first year is the Hebrew Testament, the second year is the Christian Testament, the third year is Church History, and the fourth year is the development of one’s personal theology. It is a comprehensive program that encourages and challenges believers, clergy and lay, to strengthen their faith. EfM presents the truth and sound doctrine as Paul says.
When we want to learn something we must seek out instruction from someone who has the knowledge and skill that we desire. We must trust such teachers and follow their guidance. We must listen without itching ears. If we knew everything about what is going to be taught, we shouldn’t be in the class. But as it is, we are students. We must listen and learn. And who knows? Perhaps one day you may be the teacher.
Today we also remember Absalom Jones Episcopal Priest (1818). Jones was the first person of African descent to be ordained an Episcopal Priest. He was ordained by The Most Reverend William White who was the first Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John