I miss the pen and voice of Pastor Eugene Peterson. Author and minister, creator of The Message Bible and mentor to many, he has served as the conscience of those called as shepherds to beautiful and contentious, gifted and distracted flocks called local churches. He generously gave me two hours of his time during a difficult period of transition early in my pastoral ministry. He helped me value the distinction and integration of pen and pulpit. His writings shaped my attitudes and actions and embodied the special call of the pastor-scholar. Pastor Peterson exemplified humility and humor, reverence for God and respect for people and instilled a deep love of beauty. Pastor, we miss you, but your generosity and wisdom in Christ has found lodging in the hearts of many.
How do we honor his legacy? Three things come to mind:
- Cultivating a rich inner life of devotion to the Trinity, reflection on Scripture and prayer for others. Who we are when no one is looking will prepare us for wisdom when all eyes peer at us.
- Integrating intellectual rigor and relational generosity. “Christianity is a religion for adult minds.” (Dorothy Sayers) Celebrating ignorance in the name of spirituality is as foolish as thinking our brains are sufficient for all mysteries.
- Balancing our work, play and rest in our daily lives. Such rhythms must be learned and renewed as our laziness of workaholism wants to take over.
Thank you, Pastor Peterson!