Advent 3 - Year C
Broods of vipers are not only found in outsiders seeking to come in, but within a flock as well. Euodia and Syntyche are archetypes of every church split. Having been so close when some slight difference is magnified into a bright line of division.
Given that such dissension is not unusual and even can be helpful in moving everyone along, who is this unnamed “loyal companion” called upon to assist Euodia and Syntyche? Having inhabited the role of intentional interim minister, I see this anonymous one as a patron saint of interim ministry.
With the work being outlined as the 5 tasks of an intentional interim: returning folks to community through a reestablishment of a common vision [(1)remembering who we have been & (2) determining who we want to be], redefining gentleness [(3)a key leadership trait], practicing prayers of thanksgiving [(4) reconnecting with an experienced antidotes to divisive worry], and having peace stand guard at hearts and minds [(5) preparing space for a next generation]. Intentional interim Ministers do this work of salving distressed congregations through G*D who strengthens and beautifies.
Even as Advent has both a backward glance and forward glimpse of a larger picture than a pointillist’s present stroke, so, with Euodia and Syntyche, we remember past cooperation and look for a more mature consolidation of community.