My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
In are finishing up our current worship series on Do Be Live church. Last Sunday we focused on what it means for us to Be Church. Specifically, we talked about how important it is for us to be lifelong learners when it comes to faith. We are always growing and becoming. In the ordination ceremony, candidates are asked by the Bishop if they are “going on to perfection.” The answer is, “Yes, with the help of God.” Notice, the question is not if they are perfect. It acknowledges that there really is no such thing. None of us are perfect, and none of us will be made perfect in this lifetime. We are all on a journey. We are all learning what it means to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ and to live in mutual accountability with one another.
Living a life of faith is not an easy thing. It moves us out of our comfort zone. It compels us to things that we would not do on our own. It causes us to take risks. It leads us to take positions and actions that are going to bring ridicule, push back and resistance. Yet, as people of faith, we, like Martin Luther, know that we can do no other.
This is when it is so important for us to be part of a community of faith that not only holds us accountable for living out our faith in real and transformative ways but that also supports us in doing so and is there for us when that inevitable resistance comes. We need this kind of agitational community because most of us are inclined to choose the easy path and just go along with the crowd and maintain the status quo. But our faith as “UM Christians to make disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” That means challenging and seeking to change the way things are and to envision and work for the world as God wants it to be. This can be scary, but as I said in my sermon, and as you will hear me say repeatedly, fear and faith cannot coexist. One will inevitably cancel out the other. My hope and prayer is that when we have to choose, and we will all inevitably have to make that choice, we will choose to act on our faith and not out of our fears.
We saw Senator Mitt Romney do that this week. Regardless of what you think about the impeachment process, it was admirable that Senator Romney clearly and consciously to choose to act on his faith, to put his loyalty to God over loyalty to power, to honor a sacred vow that he made to God, and to do what he felt was just and right. He knows that there will be severe consequences for this decision and action. Indeed, it started almost immediately. Yet, he stands firm in his conviction that he has to obey God rather than the demands of the powerful in his party to toe the line. This is admirable.
This week we will be considering what it means for us to Do Church. How are we, individually and collectively, being called to put our faith into action? How are we being called to care for the least of these our sisters and brothers? How can we shape our common life so that we can encourage and support one another in answering this call?
Sermon texts for this week are: 1 Samuel 3:1 – 10 and Matthew 25:35 – 40
Sermon title: Answering the Call
See you in church on Sunday as together we strive to Do Be Live Church!