Bible Study: Resilience in the Parish

Resilience is a trait rooted in thoughts, choices, and behaviors. Spiritually speaking, the means for resilient people and congregations are already yours. The Spirit is at work daily to return you to Jesus, to listen to His Word, and to guide your words and deeds. Immediately after Pentecost, the Spirit-gathered Church was given the gifts that make for resilient people—people who would be persecuted, slandered, attacked, and even killed. All but one of the Apostles died a martyr’s death, yet remained faithful unto death. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers… And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-27). 

“Because Jesus lives, all those who are in Jesus will never die but shall live” Trinity 16 2023

Death is interrupted in Jesus. He comes up to our coffins and says, “No more! Son or daughter, I say to you, arise!” And with the cry of the archangels and the sound of trumpets, all the dead are raised, now by faith and then by sight. Because Jesus lives, all those who are in Jesus will never die but shall live. Yes, it is hard to live in that paradoxical tension between the now and the not yet, just as it is to believe that we are sinners deserving nothing but death and punishment but at the same time believing that we are forgiven children of God, who thus also have salvation and eternal life. Indeed, this can only be believed by the working of the Holy Spirit through the Word. 

“We ask for what we believe God the Father, Son, and Spirit alone can give” Trinity 15 2023

You’ll note that the things that cause us the most worry, anxiety, and fear are those that God promises to give and protect. He gives them in the Creed and the Prayer and protects them with the Ten Commandments. In the Creed, God the Father and Maker promises everything you need for your life. God the Son gives you everything needed for salvation through His suffering and death. God the Holy Spirit gives you faith in His Church to keep you with the Father and the Son. So, why do you worry? Why are you anxious? What are you afraid of?