Week of Proper 3, Year Two[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 38 (morning) // 119:25-48 (evening)
1 Timothy 3:1-16
Our epistle reading today makes good household management a requirement for positions of ordained ministry. For example, according to the passage, a bishop “must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way—for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” Likewise, deacons ought to “manage their children and their households well.”
The goal of the author of today’s passage is to create churches that are orderly and respectable. Therefore, effective leaders should maintain order and respectability among their perceived subordinates at home. But what if our goals were different? What if we sought instead to create congregations that invited people to bring their whole and authentic selves, that challenged us to live with greater freedom and courage, that celebrated relationships that were marked by equality and depth?
In that case, the criteria for ministry might include honesty about our messes and struggles at home. Of course we can all preserve some privacy, but that privacy doesn’t need to be rooted in shame or a desire to project a façade of perfect household management. Rather, each of us can bring to our ministries and communities a clearer picture of our imperfect households. This openness may help all of us to live and serve and connect with greater integrity today.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.