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What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 1:13 NIV

Earlier this year, Janice began crocheting. As someone with no creative abilities, I'm fascinated by using different materials–in this case, yarn–to make something new. As far as I can tell, the process begins with an image of the final product. It could come from an actual picture to serve as a guide, or for the more seasoned, it is what they envision. From that starting place, a pattern is followed, repeating differing stitches, row after row.

I've also observed when an error is made in crocheting, there is only one way to fix it–all the rows are ripped out (hopefully not many) to the point of the problem. The error may have been related to an inconsistency in the stitching, causing a disruption in the pattern, or uneven row counts. Regardless, the reason the solution is the same.

In today's verse, Paul invites us to follow a "pattern of sound teaching." The stitches he mentions here are faith and love, pretty simple, only two stitches–but the pattern must be consistent. The image we have of how this should look is found in the pages of the Bible, and the pattern to be followed is in the example of Jesus.

In our discipleship, if we find that those two stitches of faith and love are missing–we've somehow gotten off-pattern, perhaps a stitch of sin has somehow appeared, there's only one option. We rip out to the point where the error began–this is done through repentance, and we begin again. We should never consider this a failure but a learning experience. Sure, we wish the whole thing would be perfect start-to-finish without those occasional errors, but that's not practical. What is essential is the recognition of the errors and the willingness to go back and begin again with a new determination.

God, we thank you for the patterns of sound teaching found in Jesus Christ. May our faith and love in Christ be woven throughout our lives and manifested in all our listening and doing. Help us to be aware of those times we go off-pattern, and give us the courage and willingness to begin again. Amen.


Pastor Tim

If you are interested, you can get One-of-a-Kind patterns on Etsy. However, I'm wondering, if it's a pattern that is freely available to everyone, how it can be one of a kind?

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