Day 8 - Pauses for Lent - See

3/14/2019

Read John 3: 1-17 CEB
 
“God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17 CEB
 
Most of us would agree, at our best, a Christian is a follower of Jesus. Sometimes, however, the two identifiers (Christian or follower of Jesus) seem to be in direct conflict with each other. Remember, Jesus was never a Christian. As Christians, we can sometimes fall prey to becoming a “formula-formed” person, or a doctrine-formed person. Sometimes we become so obsessed with “a way forward” (i.e., formula, a doctrine, a rule), that we fail to see THE WAY forward (i.e., a person…namely, the person of Jesus Christ). We take comfort in our identification with “the good Samaritan.” But in the last few weeks, we’ve seen our Pharisaic side rise to the surface, as well. We claim with boldness that we are a place where everyone is very welcome. What about when someone interprets the Bible differently than do we?
 
Which is easier? To tell someone they are wrong and run the risk of losing them altogether? Or, to tell someone, with humility, “I might be the one who is wrong” and remain on the journey together? I’ll let you answer that question for yourselves. However, when in doubt, it is usually best to err on the side of humility.
 
In Mississippi Methodism, I take heart that when given the choice between being a “formula-following, doctrine-spewing, Bible-thumping ‘Christian’” or being a “cross-bearing, humble-serving, Bible-learning follower of Jesus,” we usually choose the latter. In this season of Lent, instead of puffing up our chest and claiming Jesus as a possession, let us consider the gentler way, fasting and praying and confessing: As we have been so loved by Christ, let us so love one another.
 
Prayer: All along my pilgrim journey, I want Jesus to walk with me. So be it. In the Name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Heather Hensarling, Senior Pastor, Wells Memorial UMC in Jackson


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