WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER!
As I sit to pen down these words, I am reminded of the New York Annual Conference Mission Statement; part of which states, “Making disciples for Christ for the transformation of the world,” a mandate I believe is derived from the “Great Commandment” (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18) and the “Great Commission” (Matt. 28:18-20) of the Lord. This mandate is made manifest through the local church, the body of Christ, of which each of us is a member (1 Cor. 6:15; 12:27).
For the local church, like ours, carrying out this mandate requires cultivating the will to “love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might,” and to allow the character of God’s love to be translated by loving those around us. The Church, as a body of Christ, grows stronger when each member of the body plays his/her role as required for the survival of the body.
I know there are some of you out there for whom the existence of God has become abstract, because it seems God is not interested in you plight; while others are hoping to fix themselves before coming to become part of the Body of Christ, but as St. Augustine puts it in his Confession, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rest in you.” Because we did not create ourselves, we cannot fix ourselves. Searching out peace apart from God is a vain effort that might never come to fruition. We must surrender to the Creator, who is able to break us and remake us! “He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but by virtue of his own mercy” (Titus 3:5a).
The Bloomfield United Methodist Church, as someone puts it, “Is in the height of the people,” but I will add, “with the people at heart!” If this is true for you as it is for me, then, we have an enormous task to come together as one body in carrying the mandate of “making disciples for Christ for the transformation of the world.” Remember? L. L. Nash, an interdenominational preacher, once said, “A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Come as you are!
Rev. Esau A. Greene