Jesus lived on Earth fully God and fully human, and dealt with insult, pain, suffering and injustices. Remembering that even Jesus had these struggles helps us to realize that asking why is normal. Jesus gives up his life at the hands of his persecutors and questions why. How can we too cry out in our times of struggle and yet remain faithful children of God?
Forgiveness is about more than just repairing an individual relationship. It is about a lifestyle we are called to live as God’s children. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that we will be best friends with those we need to forgive, but it does mean that our hearts (and hopefully theirs) are opened to the peace that God wants for us. How can we let go of hurts and wrongs and grasp tight to the sacred value found in each human being?
With a potentially divisive atmosphere at General Conference, we felt it was vital for us offer our worship space to our Keller UMC family and anyone else who would like to participate for a time of prayer for peaceful, affirming and respectful discussion. A Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church takes place February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The Commission was authorized to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to explore options to strengthen church unity. For more details about the Special Session of the General Conference, visit http://www.umc.org/topics/general-conference-2019-special-session.
God is quite clear that when we have a problem or complaint about someone else, our primary job is to forgive and love them. We do not do this based on their desire to be forgiven, nor their worthiness in our opinion. We are called to forgive because God loves and forgives us. How can we let go of contempt in our hearts and live in the way that Jesus taught?
Forgiveness is not easy under any circumstances, but forgiving ourselves is often the most difficult task. Valuing ourselves as important creations of God is the root of being able to love others. Join us this weekend as we explore how to fully forgive ourselves so that we may be able to fully love and forgive one another.
Living with guilt and sin erodes our peace, but being open and confessing our wrongdoings to God cures us in many ways. God’s forgiveness is always available. When we fully experience it, we are set free and given new life through God’s love and grace. Join us this weekend as we explore how to experience the peace of God’s forgiveness.
Dying is scary, whether one’s own death or the pain of losing a loved one. Death in our Christian perspective is less of a finality and more of an intermission. The pain of death is not lessened, but viewing death as part of our journey with Christ to life eternal does give us a new perspective. Knowing God is with us and that we are retiring to our God in spirit helps us to overcome some of our fear.
In our fast-paced world, sometimes it is easier to just keep doing what we have always done. That is exactly what the Israelites wanted to do when the promised land was right in front of them. As they turned their focus to God, they were able to face the change and newness with hope and excitement. How can we hear that same message in the midst of changes of our world today?
God did not create us to be alone and isolated, but to rely on each other. God is always with us, and we can always be there for others to remind them of God’s love and presence. The certainty of God’s love allows us to connect to our deepest selves, the people God created us to be. No matter what, we are not alone!
So many things divide our world today: politics, race, socio-economic realities. We focus on our differences instead of God’s law of unconditional love. Scripture tells us to seek God’s divine image in everyone we meet. Even those who disagree with us and are different from us are our neighbors, our brothers and sisters in Christ our Lord. How can we live into that truth?