Imagine a Church
Dear Reed City UMC Family,
During Sunday morning worship we are presently working our way through several passages from Paul’s Letter to the Church in Ephesus. Paul wrote Ephesians with one basic message in mind: Because we have this new life through Christ, we ought to live a new life through the Spirit.
I was thinking about this recently when I saw the moon, just a sliver, rise above the horizon. Usually all you see is the portion the sun is shining on. On this particular evening I could see the entire moon, albeit somewhat dimly because most of it was in the shadows, but I could see that the whole circle was there. Even when we cannot see it, we instinctively know the whole moon is there. It hasn’t disappeared just because we can’t see it. The same is true about the sun on cloudy days: We may not see the sun, yet we do know it is there.
That made me think about God in our lives.
When we see each other on Sunday morning (or any other time), shouldn’t we remind ourselves that in many ways we are looking at Jesus? Isn’t it true that you and I notice more often when we do something that makes us wonder if Jesus really is in me or in you? And isn’t it about time we changed this, for our sake and for the sake of everybody else?
It seems that we so easily forget our partnership as Christ followers.
I can’t get through this life without you and yet it is so easy for me to think sometimes, “those around can’t be much help because they still have so far to go.” At the same time, I think of how far I have to go, and feel I can’t be much help to another person either.
Isaiah 62.5 tells us that, “as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
If God, who knows us better than anyone rejoices over us, shouldn’t we rejoice over each other?
So what do we do to change this mindset of ours, and our vision concerning each other? Here is what I need to do more of: I need to pray. The apostle Paul models this so beautifully for us:
“I pray that you would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3.19).
You and I stand in the need of prayer every single day for each other and ourselves so that
- we can rejoice over each other (as does God),
- you and I keep walking toward perfection in Christ,
- we will treat each other as saints instead of sinners (as does God),
- we desire to treat each other the way we deserve to be treated,
- we will love each other with an everlasting, unconditional love (as does God).
Imagine a church family that so much wants to be all we can be and need to be for each other, our community, and our world!
Of course, I am very well aware that we cannot do any of these things unless we are “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
And so I pray that God will make that happen in us, and with us, and through us, so that our actions towards each other show for all the world to see and believe that Christ lives in us.
Thanks be to God for continuing to help us become more and more like Christ.
Pastor Daniel Hofmann