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Doing What Is Right, Always

Daily Devotional for Monday, May 10, 2021 from Rev. Robert Johnson


Last summer, I remember one of the many devotions we posted to YouTube was based on the ninth verse of Galatians chapter 6.

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. 

At the time we published that devotion, we were in a very different part of the (yet-uncompleted) time of COVID-19. We were still trying to discover what we should be doing, how hard we should and for how long. I remember that I thought, at that relatively early time, that the message every one of us needed to hear was that we could not tire of doing what was right or we would fail to meet the challenge of the moment and if the church failed to lead, we had little claim to be the transformative organization we claimed to be.

At the time, I imagined that I was encouraging everyone not to be tired of doing things like wearing a mask or restricting who they saw outside of their families. But now, nearly a year later, I realize that the severity of the moment made me nearsighted.

When Paul wrote that we must not grow weary in doing right, he meant all the time about all things.

In other words, a life in which we look, always, to the welfare of those around us is not reserved for code red situations, but for every day of our lives. The issue of the day may be wearing masks, or opening a soup kitchen. The temptation may be, for any given day, for us to satisfy only our own needs first, or to think that what we think must be the only way to think about things. Putting ourselves before the needs of others. 

However, Paul’s reminder is that, just as Jesus was the man for others, we take that same mantle upon ourselves when we claim the name of Christ. Not being weary in well-doing is our call, whether the sacrifice is as minor as wearing a few pieces of filter-paper on our face or as major as laying down our life for our friends.

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How many times have we sighed about a task being too hard,
or just one thing too many? 
Yet, the Gospel teaches us that whatever demands you make of us,
you give us strength in the Holy Spirit to meet each one.
Help us not to have our attention captured by the circumstances of the moment,
but to remember that your call to salvation and service
permeates every moment of our lives.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

About the Author
Robert Johnson is the pastor of the New Hanover Presbyterian Church - and feels blessed to be there! “New Hanover is a uniquely caring and close community” said Dr. Johnson. “Serving here has been a great privilege for me, and has given me a real sense of joy in ministry!” Robert has been at NHPC since 2015. Before serving this congregation, he was a parish pastor in Ohio and Virginia, a theologian in the Office of Theology and Worship of the PC(USA), and a missionary in Pakistan where he was a college and seminary professor. Originally from the Great State of Texas, he has degrees from Austin College, Princeton Theological Seminary and holds the Ph.D. from Union Seminary in Virginia. Robert enjoys cooking, travel, reading up in World and National affairs and playing at singing, guitar, bass guitar and trombone. His wife of 36 years, Marianne Vermeer, is the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer for the Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. They have two adult sons, Nathan and Peter and an elderly dog named Cinnamon.