Employed for Thee or Laid Aside for Thee

General Conference 2012 of The United Methodist Church (UMC) started Tuesday and will continue for ten days. This afternoon, while reflecting on some of the conference that I’ve followed online, I thought about a line from John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee

The covenant prayer is hard to pray, and this line doesn’t make it any easier. It invites God to use us however God chooses, and for as long as we’re useful. We place ourselves at God’s service and at God’s mercy.

It’s also about staying out of God’s way. Through it, we say, “God, use me in the work of your kingdom, but if I get in your way, lay me aside; I don’t want to hinder your work in the world!”

This prayer challenges me to seek to remain useful to God. While I acknowledge that God can lay me aside, if necessary, the truth is, I don’t want to reach the point where God would choose to lay me aside.

It’s a challenge to the denomination, as well. I pray the UMC remains useful to God, and becomes even more useful in the days ahead.

I want to be useful to God and useful for God’s kingdom. I also want the UMC to be useful to God!

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