Grace United Methodist Church Spencer, Iowa

"but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
1 John 1:7
From the Pastor

I thought it might be a great time to share one of the Bible’s [and Jesus”!] most distasteful, at least to me, statements. It’s this one, from Matthew 10

34 “Don’t think that I’ve come to bring peace to the earth. I haven’t come to bring peace but a sword.”

I’d rather not have this truism in the Bible! I mean, it’s true that Jesus wants a level commitment second to no other [“god”!] and in fact, it’s to our benefit to give that commitment because that’s the only way we receive the benefits of discipleship: hope, joy, peace, love.

But that statement reminds me that church is hard. This is the last place and enterprise in which people should be involved in where they have comfort. As it was written years ago by some now-unnamed writer: “Church is not a Norman Rockwell painting!” Oh, how I wish it were. But that’s not the case.

We don’t have to look for nor create the arenas or causes for discomfort. If we really hear the words of Jesus, we live in a culture that produces plenty of discomfort: children are dying, people are starving, the racial divide we hoped to heal after the Civil War (!) just seems to be getting wider and louder, women still face oppression, people in power develop and have funds for fancy weapon systems while the poor face another night under the bridge.

So maybe that’s why Matthew thought it important to include that particular statement from Jesus. He wanted to startle us to the reality that our Christianity dares not settle in to a comfort zone. Do you suppose, perhaps, just perhaps…

We can get too comfortable in an easy faith?
We might be too concerned about a neighbor’s sing when our own is glaring?
We need less comfort for self and more concern for others?
We need to spend less and give more?
We need to hold on to the Cross instead of fear?
We need less of us, and more of Him?!

I am tempted as much as anyone else to get comfy in the realm of faith. But, really, isn’t the call of Jesus to be Uncomfortable?? Isn’t the church really the place where we are to sit with, eat with, worship with the unwashed, ill-mannered, alien, stranger or so-journer? In fact, that is exactly what makes the church, and following Jesus, exciting!

Ok, Jesus, make us your servants!!

Pastor Paul

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All are welcome.
Staffed nursery available during worship September thru May.

Grace United Methodist Church
311 2nd Ave W, Spencer, IA 51301
Phone: 712-262-5970