The title of the blog “Are We Yet Alive?” is also the title of a classic Methodist Hymn, which we sang just a bit ago in out Annual Conference meeting held in the Woodlands. It’s a great question – are we alive, or do we simply exist? Are we alive, or are we slowly dying? Are we yet alive and what is the evidence?
There has already been much to celebrate at this Conference. In Bishop Huie’s opening message to the clergy and laity she spoke of some amazing things that God has done through our churches. What amazing things? I’m glad you asked.
How about through the efforts of the United Methodist churches on the eastern side of Texas, along with many others, over 8 million life-saving mosquito nets will be distributed in the country of Cote d’ Ivoire in Africa. The nets are made with long-lasting insecticide woven into the fabric. It helps protect the family from malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and then it kills them as they land on the nets. If I remember the numbers correctly, by 2025 every family unit in that country will have a net that covers a family of 4 – every family unit! That is a move of God.
I thought that was amazing, until we started talking about Ike. Turns our Cote d’ Ivoire Christians heard about our struggle in the hurricane. The people of this country where the annual income per capita is $660 sent a check to our Annual Conference for $4,000. They sent funds to us – out of the little they had they were extremely generous. Once again, I see God.
The Bishop was honest and made note of how we still were not seeing people come to know Christ through our ministries. The number of people accepting Christ is not moving up as much as we’d like. It seems there is another step for us to take. Yes, we must help meet the needs of those who hurt, but we must not neglect the greatest hurt of all – a life without Christ. It is the illness felt but not recognized, the struggle experienced but not named as a spiritual dilemma. We must now move with as much power and energy to proclaim Christ to the souls of the people as much as we proclaim hope for their health.
Are we yet alive in the United Methodist Church? I dare say we are, but we need to keep getting stronger so our “aliveness” makes an even greater impact on the souls of the people who do not know Christ.
Holy high five to you, Mike.