Prayer: Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the words of darkness and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen. (First Sunday in Advent Collect Church of England The Book of Common Prayer pg 87)
Read St.Luke 6: 12 – 16
After a night of prayer before God, Jesus summons his disciples and from them he selected twelve he designated as apostles.
This is a wonderful example of how we must choose Elders. In the Presbyterian Church, our spiritual governing committee is called "The Session" and the individuals called to this tasking are called "Elders". After much prayer, we nominate those in our congregation who are truly inspired to nurture and lead God’s people. Too often we elect elders because we need more warm bodies on Session -- we totally forget about the discernment and prayer to elect those who are called by God to this office.
Jesus is our example to follow. Take time to pray for those who are nominated to be elders.
Being an elder is not an easy calling. First and foremost, an Elder must love God, be knowledgeable of the Bible, do daily devotions, do daily prayers, and help with the nurture and growth of all peoples in the Church as well as those outside the Church. An Elder is expected to visit their district or group of people that the Church has given to them to look after. An Elder is expected to lead Bible Studies so that the people of the Church can gain in the knowledge and love of God. An Elder is expected to care for the sick, the poor, and the downtrodden. An Elder is an example of the Christian life and must have the gifts of the Spirit (goodness, patience, kindness, love, joy, peace, gentleness, self-control, and faithfulness).
As Jesus climbed a mountain and spent time in prayer, this is exactly what he was praying for …. for discernment from God as to which of his disciples are called by God to be apostles.
Today, pray for the calling of Elders that they may be sustained by the peace and love of God to fulfil the work God calls them to do.
Prayer: Great God, we give You thanks and praise for the Elders – our spiritual guides. Be with them in all their work so that they may become beacons of light in a dark world. Grant each of the Elders the delight in learning Your Scriptures. Grant each of the Elders an open heart to visit Your people. Sustain them by Your peace and love. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.