Monday, March 16, 2009
Today I had one of those beautiful moments that seem to come way too rarely lately. A moment of complete and utter fullness. (No, I was not finishing the buffet line at Ruby Tuesdays!!) It was a moment in which the great irony of life caught me completely off guard. I was standing in the hallway of my church talking on the phone to a woman in need, looking at a smiling family there to plan a wedding, and knowing I had another gentleman in my office wanting help filling out a job application. Three visitors - don't you love biblically perfect numbers? - at the same time...all needing something from me. Normally, I would have been stressed and maybe even annoyed at all the interruptions to my day of planning and organizing...and for the briefest moment a scene from Jesus Christ Superstar popped into my head. It was the scene where Jesus is praying, he's gone off alone for some down time and then the lepers come...all crying out in need, begging for him to help them...soon, they overwhelm him - I watched the play last Friday with my daughter and that scene haunted me...Jesus emptying himself completely for the sake of the poor lepers. I was moved because, while I dare not compare my ministry with that of Jesus, I often feel like I am emptying myself completely for the sake of others in need...and sometimes I am afraid one day only a shell of me will remain. But the image of the lepers only lasted for a second....then I heard the bride-to-be laugh and I watched her and her future husband look adoringly at each other...then I heard the woman on the phone sound relieved that help was on the way...and then I thought of the man in my office waiting patiently for my attention. Am I emptying myself - absolutely - but the irony is, I've never felt so full. Full of God's love and gifts and amazed all over again that I have the great honor of being called as one of His ordained servants. There are no lepers pulling me down - there are only brothers and sisters pulling me closer. Thanks be to God
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I've just spent a good part of my afternoon bedridden with a bad back. This meant that I could either watch some mind-numbing TV or I could get on my laptop and do something useful. Funny, I never considered the word "useful" to be quite so subjective. Anyway, months ago, my brilliant husband predicted that our churches needed to be more relevant in the world - and he used the idea of Facebook to prove his point. He said, worship needs to be interactive, we need to be able to text and 'tweet' and whatever all those other things are...it is what the next generation is looking for.
And then, there is was today, on CNN...a church in California in which the congregation is encouraged to use Twitter during the worship service to share their thoughts and feelings with friends. Finally, curiosity gets the better of me. Within an hour I am signed up for Twitter and this blog spot...this in addition to my Facebook (sorry MySpace, found you way too annoying). While I'm still trying to figure it all out I am amazed at the possibilities we have to connect with one another.
John Wesley left a legacy of connectionalism for his new movement called Methodism. We people called Methodist are supposed to embrace our unity and strive to work together towards the common goal of sharing Christ with the world and strengthening our spiritual lives in the process. While Wesley was hesitant to try new things he ultimately came to believe that sometimes we need to do some "vile things" to get out the word of Christ. Of course, he was talking about preaching in the open fields instead of a church...but he did walk on the wild side of his day and open himself up to doing what had to be done for sake of reaching new people.
So, what would John Wesley think of this chance we have? I can't help but think he'd be out purchasing his own laptop - no doubt fussing all the way to the Apple store (yea, he'd be a mac guy - right John?) - but within no time he would be posting his first tweet and his first blog. Come on my fellow United Methodists - lets remember our fearless leader and take a walk on the wild side. Yes it may seem 'vile' at first - or in the least it will just be downright bizarre - but what a great opportunity before us to not only connect our faith communities but to spread the good news to a new generation.