I am a citizen of the United States of America. I am a member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church. Though each entity has UNITED in the title, we are increasingly more divided. Between divisive elections in national politics, and heated debates between progressive and conserving edges of the church, we could pretty easily replace the UNITED with UNTIED in each case, and the word swap would offer a painful accuracy.
But that isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. These grand movements - whether a nation forged out of English colonies or a holiness revival birthed from the Anglican Church - started with ideals. These ideals drew people together. They caused people to rally towards a common cause. They inspired people to stand up and speak with harmonized voices. These ideals even inspired some to sacrifice greatly, perhaps completely, to help usher in the joy that exists on the shore that lies just on the other side of a raging river of struggle.
Christ declared that His followers would be UNITED. Does that mean we’ll all think, act, praise and serve alike? Of course not. But there are aspects of our lives that will call us to move away from our fighter’s corners and meet one another at the center of the cross where Jesus made enemies of God into siblings through salvation. Through the month of August, we’ll learn how we can live out our unity more fully. Join us each weekend for worship as we examine how Jesus has UNITED us.
August 5 “They Will All Be One” John 17:15-23
August 12 “A House Divided” Matthew 12:22-30
August 19 “In Love With Jesus”
August 26 “Together With One Voice” Romans 15:1-13
Part of the witness we offer in a fractured world is a church that loves across divides and through differences. Come be the church UNITED in worship this month as we proclaim the power of God to restore a fragile and fractured people back to life.
Yours in Christ,