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Pastor’s Pen

 

 

May 2024

Pastor’s Pen

John 13:34-35 (NIV): “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

I am a United Methodist because…

I am a United Methodist because we strive to follow Jesus and reflect God’s love to the world. As United Methodists, we dedicate our lives to living out the United Methodist slogan of Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors. I believe this slogan captures what it means to be a Christian. This slogan, when lived out, shares God’s love and hope in a beautiful way.

Open Hearts…  Our hearts must be open to all people. Not open sometimes or to a select group that may live and act like ourselves, but to ALL people. Often people will call themselves a Christian and then operate with the saying of, “Hate the sin, love the sinner”. True love, the love God calls us to have, has an open heart to ALL people. We are called to love ALL people, not just a select group of people or people we understand. We are called to look at people and see Christ in them. To see in them someone who was created in the image of God. If we look at people through God’s lens of love, we will see God’s reflection in them. God’s beautiful reflection in the person standing before us. When we do this, we have an Open Heart.

Open Minds… Our minds are open when we humbly try to understand others and extend God’s love to them no matter the situation. Loving people can be challenging at times. But as United Methodists we extend empathy and compassion as we work to understand them and their situation. We have a willingness to embrace all people and meet them where they are. We open our eyes to someone else’s struggles and we try to understand what it is like to walk in their shoes. We don’t judge, but instead offer hope and love through an open mind.

Open Doors… Our doors are open when we welcome and love all people. We welcome them into our worship, our ministries, our spaces and our lives. The door is just not opened waiting for them to come, but instead we are meeting them where they are at and then walking with them through the door. We want people to feel our welcoming heart and know that they are loved by God and by us. As we walk with them, they feel the open door of our lives and churches. Our doors are open when we welcome and love all people. We welcome them into our worship, our ministries, our spaces and our lives. The door is just not opened waiting for them to come, but instead we are meeting them where they are at and then walking with them through the door. We want people to feel our welcoming heart and know that they are loved by God and by us. As we walk with them, they feel the open door of our lives and churches.

I am a United Methodist because… As United Methodists, we strive to reflect God’s love and hope to ALL people. We follow Christ and try with all our hearts to live out the Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors slogan in our daily lives and in our churches. We are not perfect and often we stumble, but as United Methodists we rely on God’s grace, forgiveness and love.