Always Full: Pastor Dave’s E-note
Categories: Pastor Dave's eNote
Let your conversation be always full of grace,
seasoned with salt, so that you may know
how to answer everyone.
This Sunday will be a special Sunday in the life of our church. First, our Chancel Choir and Orchestra will present a number of musical selections that remind us that as people of faith, we are to pray for our nation and celebrate its heritage. It has been a late June early July tradition for our church to recognize our nation’s beginnings.
Second, Jason Mincey will be preaching his first sermon as an Elder in Full Connection. There will be a cake and punch reception following the 11:00am Service to recognize Jason and his family. Thank you Barbie, Renee and Traci for helping!
If you have been watching the news lately, you will have noted that a great deal is changing in our nation. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn part of the Defense of Marriage Act is a historical decision that will shape the future of our nation.
I have long maintained that we live in a time of incredible witness. For me, what’s important is not what people do, right or wrong, but what God has done in Jesus Christ. When the world around me changes, I remember that my God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I also remember three important things about my God. One, I remember that God loved me enough to die for my sins so that I might have eternal life (John 3:16). Two, I remember that Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith. That I am to keep my eyes, my heart and mind focused on Him (Hebrews 12:2). And three, I remember that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by Him and what he has done.
Those truths not only remind me of the character of our God, but they remind me of my mission and purpose as follower of Jesus. This issue before the court is one that will divide our nation. It has in the past divided churches, communities and even homes. It is a painful and complex issue because people are involved. The people who are involved are moms and dads, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren. They are good, sinful, hopeful, broken, hurting and searching people. Everyone knows someone painfully touched by this issue.
So, as I enter into conversations about the recent ruling of the Supreme Court, my mission is ever before me. As a United Methodist Pastor, the By-Laws of our denomination do not permit me to perform same sex unions. That being said, we must come to an understanding that there has been a huge shift in tolerance in our nation. Rick Warren, Pastor at Saddleback Church in California recently said, “The problem is that tolerant has changed its meaning. It used to mean, ‘I may disagree with you completely, but I will treat you with respect. Today, tolerant means, ‘you must approve of everything I do.’ There’s a difference between tolerance and approval.”
Jesus accepted everyone no matter who they were. He doesn’t approve of everything I do, you do, or anybody else does either. You can be accepting without being approving. You can be graceful without compromising. Our witness is not just our conviction, but how we treat one another as those convictions are shared. That is why Paul reminds us to make sure your speech is seasoned with salt. You can, and should stand on your convictions. I have personal convictions about this issue that I am willing to share with anyone who asks. Just buy me a cup of coffee and I walk you through them! Those convictions are a part of your faith and your mission. The greater, more urgent truth is that there are too many people not living a life of faith in Jesus Christ. They do not know of His grace, His mercy and His desire to spend eternity with them. Perhaps, in the way we speak something about our attitude, our conviction and our compassion will draw them into the kingdom.
This Sunday, Jason will be preaching about persistent prayer. I look forward to seeing you in worship. Remember, your miracle is just one word away.
Dr. David L. Davis