Putting on an apron and serving others can seem monotonous and frustrating at times but the joy of helping someone can be immensely fulfilling. DAIL Community describes their purpose: “to practice God’s commandment to love each other, spread the Good News to others and to live our lives like Jesus stretching out our hands to our abandoned neighbors thus creating a more beautiful world. It starts with anything; it starts with me; it starts now.”
As the service started, Sandi scrunched down in her pew so she wouldn’t be noticed. Maybe everyone would be so focused on talking to each other, they would miss seeing her. After the initial announcements, the minister said something that would change Sandi Patty’s life forever.
Go and make disciples. Teach them. God will be with you. Then… expect a miracle. This is what the church should and could be. One young man starts a ministry on Facebook. A Sunday school class provides badly needed winter coats for children. A prayer group notices someone needing help and becomes a catalyst for bringing churches and cultures together. God’s church in action.
After a few minutes of standing quietly, I began to understand the reason for my anger. It wasn’t about church attitudes or programs. It wasn’t even the speaker that was causing my anger. The problem was within me. Underneath the glow of the cross, the words of the speaker became a divine warning aimed directly at me. I was the one focusing on creative programming ideas while neglecting my own relationship with God. My priorities were focused on people rather than God: programs rather than relationships. It was so simple, yet I almost missed it.
The church should never be a social club for members only. The church is you and I with God’s divine help learning to love those who love us and to especially love those who don’t. The church exists to see us through times when life or people’s behavior is simply not fair.
The ‘feast’ describes God’s invitation to go out into the world and be the church, make a difference, heal the sick, help the poor, care for the needy. Our ideal response should be to say ‘yes’ with faith believing that our service to God is more important than our occupation, our family or even our very lives. We say yes, knowing there are obstacles but trusting in God to provide answers, resources and courage to enable us to do far more than we ever imagined possible.
Recent events have been traumatic for The United Methodist Church I love and serve. A called general conference of delegates from churches all over the world, met to talk about resolving differences over human sexuality, differences that divided many denominations over the last few years. But instead of resolving differences Read more…