I am sorry for the delay in putting out my blog. I was called to be dad on Monday and see my college-age son. It’s not just that he needed to see me, but I needed to see him. I have also been preoccupied with watching online the United Methodist Church General Conference (GC) in Tampa, Florida.
It has been an interesting show to watch. There is much lively debate and much struggle by people who have felt like they are on the outside and they have been secondary in the thoughts of the church body. There are many hoping to see us come to a new place with new hope. There are many who love God and want to see the Church serve God’s purpose. There is not always agreement on how to do that. (for information, articles, and videos of the proceedings click HERE).
For me, the difficulty in watching has been the unfortunate sense of distrust we have with one another. It is a natural consequence of the way persons have used power either with disdain for others or with a lack of consideration for others. It is a natural consequence of a large organization of volunteer members. However, our faith in Jesus Christ calls us to see each other not with eyes of rejection or suspicion, but with eyes of forgiveness and reconciliation. It doesn’t mean the others are off the hook or we admit they are right, it simply means we are willing to trust God even when we cannot see eye-to-eye with each other.
For me, watching this event has been something like watching a train wreck or an accident on the highway. It is painful to see some of what is happening, but you can’t look away. It is something you look at and think “I hope everyone is okay. The only thing i can do right now is pray”.
In the end I was reminded that all of us, well, at least most of us, in the UMC all love God and are seeking to move the church in ways that honors God and builds God’s Kingdom. I was encouraged that even in times of disagreement and in times of anxiety as changes happen we have a God who is forever faithful and pours out his grace upon us freely and constantly.
Is there a train wreck in your world? In your family? in your workplace? Is there anxiety and differences of opinion?
If so, I encourage you to remember that Jesus promised to be with us always. I encourage you to remember that you are a light-bearer in the darkness – the Holy Spirit is in you and as you let the Spirit move and flow out of you, you become a instrument of grace and peace.
Holy high-five to you,