Greetings all in the name of Christ!
I write to you this week from the 14th floor of the Hilton Americas in Downtown Houston. I am here for our area’s Annual Conference. Many of you will remember that this conference is made up of half lay people and half clergy, and is the governing body of the UMC in our region. Every four years, the Annual Conferences of the UMC across the world elect delegates to attend the General Conference that is the governing body of the entire church. Usually, our conference elects theologically far-right delegates to represent us, but this year there was a dramatic shift to the center. I believe this is a good move because good Methodists belong in the center where there is room for people of all creeds, colors, and orientations. This dramatic change in fortunes is likely a direct response happened this past February in St. Louis at a special called session of the General Conference where our church lurched to the right. How this all plays out is fascinating, if a bit unnerving, to watch and how everything shakes out as far as our denominational unity is concerned is far from determined. For now, we watch, wait, and pray – especially pray.
This week in worship, we will continue our series on learning how to love like Jesus. In John’s 5th chapter, there is an interesting story about a pool of water in Jerusalem that occasionally bubbles up with no apparent reason. Over the course of time, it came to be believed that the bubbles were the wings of angels making contact with the water and that if an ill person was put in the water during this bubbling, their illness would be cured! There was one man who had been there for 38 years, and each time the water was disturbed, had been unable to make it to the water in time. Jesus saw him, knew he’d been there for a long while and asked a ridiculous question – Do you WANT to be made well? How do our wants and desires play into our ability to love like Jesus? We’ll examine this and more on Sunday!
I hope to see you in the LOVE LIKE JESUS place.