Today I have to focus my attention on doing some administrative tasks that I would rather not do. We are currently involved in an extensive re-write of the by-laws of our church. Our position remains the same of course, but a fresh way of saying things was required in our by-laws. We have by-laws that made no sense as they were written (For instance take our statement on the formation of a pulpit committee: When the office of pastor becomes vacant the church shall appoint a special committee to…confer with other sections in the same pastorate in the matter of choosing a pastor). We also need to have by-laws that reflect our practice. Over the last 50 years, our practice has needed to adapt to changing times. So, we need to be sure that both our practice and our by-laws match.
As I reflect on my distaste for writing policy and updating by-laws, I am reminded that sometimes I need to do things I don’t want to do. In his humanity, Jesus understood the suffering that would be part of his suffering on the cross. He even prayed to the Father asking that if it were possible, could the cup of suffering be passed from him (Matt.26:39). Of course, we know that the cup of suffering could not be passed. Jesus had to suffer. No one else was qualified to pay the price that human sin had incurred. So Jesus suffered, doing something that was unpleasant so that he might be obedient to the father’s will and secure redemption.
While Jesus’ suffering and my distaste for writing by-laws are not the same in severity or effect, there is nonetheless a point upon which I must reflect as I meditate on the gospel. Jesus example in suffering is that we must by times do what we would rather not do in order to accomplish a work for God’s glory. The beauty of the gospel is that while it rescues me from God’s wrath, it also serves as a motivator when I am called to do an unpleasant task around the office!