I Love My Church
People have ideas of what the church is, from what the building is supposed to look like to the "right ways" to worship. But is that the true definition of what the church is to be? What does it actually mean to be part of St. Paul UMC and of the global "Church"?
Surviving the Wilderness
When facing difficult trials in life, many of us take the approach of either fight or flight. But as people of faith, we have another path. When our back is against the wall, we are to seek God's help through prayer. Even when we feel powerless, God remains all powerful. The way to survive the wilderness of life is not only to remember, but believe, God will make a way through the trial.
The prophet Elijah is one of the few biblical figures who appear in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, he was called to hold kings accountable and to stand strong against the false idols of this world. In the New Testament he appeared with Jesus at the Transfiguration of our Lord. He is a giant of our faith, but the truth is even Elijah suffered from many of the fears and frailties that affect us as we journey in the faith. As we face times of trial and wilderness, we can learn much from Elijah's life and service to God.
We’ve learned a lot during the last few months about what matters most in life. Things we thought were essential before the COVID-19 pandemic may not seem so essential anymore. On the other hand, things that we often took for granted have become more important to us. What did Jesus teach about life’s essentials?
The word lament is not a word we use much in modern English but it's simply the act of crying out when you’re overwhelmed with sorrow or suffering. How are we as Christians to embrace this practice in the time of a pandemic and in a world deeply divided on the issues of racism? Lamenting is a way for the believer to live into the grief and suffering that comes daily and to do so with hope.
If you had 30 days to change you life for the better, what would you do? What would be important? How would your life be different?