February 24, 2019 at 4:47 pm · naltadonna · Comments Off on God is big enough to guide the future of The United Methodist Church
In our final week of our sermon series God is Big Enough, we looked at how God is at work in our United Methodist Church right now. Pastor Mike shared a story about a previous church that did something innovative in worship one Lent. The first Sunday of Lent, they invited the congregation to fashion an object that represented Lent for them out of clay. Some of the objects included crosses and teardrops. The next Sunday in worship, all of their clay creations lay smashed in pieces around the altar, all of their creations tragically broken. The Apostle Paul in his second letter to the Church of Corinth, used imagery of clay jars, which some say is actually better translated as “cracked pots.”
The church of Corinth was all sorts of cracked pots, dividing over a variety of issues among each other. The body of Christ was chipping and cracking, as people divided into factions. In his letters to the Corinthians, Paul reminds them that they are all a part of the body of Christ, called to unity in the midst of diversity. Are we not cracked pots also? Are we also not broken, leaking, and bent towards division? General Conference, a global gathering to decide our church’s stance on the ordination and marriage of LGBTQ persons, is gathering February 23-26. This conference and the issues that surround it have been created some cracks and chips in our body of Christ.
Yet, God puts this treasure in clay pots. God puts the treasure of the good news of Jesus Christ inside each of us and our community. Because of this good news, we do not lose hope and must fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. The treasure of the gospel is poured into leaking vessels, which means we cannot retain the whole truth on our own. We must not mistake our truth for the whole truth. We need each other to discover the whole truth, for together we are better at finding the truth together than we are on our own. We are a better witness when we are united and not divided, for division is the world’s way.
On Easter Sunday, the congregation entered into the sanctuary only to discover a beautiful cross made out of all the broken shards of clay. God made something new and beautiful out of the brokenness. One of Jesus’ final prayers in the Gospel of John was not to pray for all the disciples to be right but for them to all be one. We do not know what the final vote will be on Tuesday, but there are a few things we do know. On February 27, we will still be a church with the treasure of the good news of Jesus Christ. Christ is still at work in us and our church in vibrant, transformative ways. We must keep our eyes fixed on the good news and the mission to make disciples that Christ has set before us. God is big enough to guide the future of The United Methodist Church. God is big enough to make our broken vessels whole. Let us put our trust in God and do what we can to stay united, for we are better together than apart.
Monday- 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
Tuesday- 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
Wednesday- 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Thursday- 1 Corinthians 10:14-33
Friday- 1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. What does it mean to you that God puts the treasure of Jesus Christ in cracked pots?
2. What are the blessings of diversity in the midst of unity in the church? What are the challenges?
3. What are practical ways we can stay united as the body of Christ?