“… although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that the Lord has once for all entrusted to us…” – Jude
It seems that Jude had an agenda. He wanted to write to the church about “the salvation we share”. A good idea. It’s encouraging to think and talk about what we have in common in the gift of Christ. But I’m not sure Jude got to write the letter he intended (at least not as the letter that we have preserved in the NT). It seems there was an issue that Jude felt needed to be dealt with first. Something so disconcerting that Jude set aside what he was “eager to write” about in order to bring attention to the problem.
The problem was that the church was allowing “certain individuals” to lead the church in directions that would end in destruction. (I’ll discuss those individuals in another post.) Jude shows a flexibility in instructing the church that I think we’d do well to follow.
I have some certain principles and ideas that I definitely want my students to take hold of before they graduate. I often set out a theme and line out a series of lessons months before I’ll actually be teaching those lessons. But sometimes situations dictate a need for something else.
I first saw this need for flexibility very early in ministry. I had our youth night all planned out – about the second week I was there, so I still hadn’t even met everyone. It was a good time for introductions and some basic stuff. That was the plan on Monday. On Tuesday, two young men followed through on their plans to shoot up fellow students at Columbine. Even separated by hundreds of miles, my new students were shaken (as each of us probably were) and questioning a lot of things.
Whatever my plan was, it needed to be scrapped because it was far outweighed by the circumstances. I pray that we always see what is going on in the world around us and hold to our agendas loosely enough to let them go if need be.