Pastor’s Ponderings

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
My plan for this month’s Pylon article was to talk about our Lenten experience with Draw the Circle The 40 Day Prayer Challenge. It has been an amazing experience to read the daily devotions and come together with friends weekly to discuss our fresh perspectives, new insights, and ways we are encouraged to grow deeper in our faith lives. Seeing firsthand how the Holy Spirit is moving in the lives of brothers and sisters in Christ is inspiring and energizing! The fresh wind of the Spirit is palpable in our midst…thanks be to God!
We are learning and experiencing more and more that our Christian faith is not meant to be lived in isolation…the saints of Woodmar are the Body of Christ…the tangible hands and feet of Jesus in a broken and hurting world. So, while we are growing deeper roots in our faith, taking action to draw closer to God through follow-ing Jesus and praying bold prayers, we must remember that we are called and sent…our deepening faith lives through intentional discipleship becomes fruitful when we pay attention to what is happening in our world and when we actively participate in ushering in the Kingdom of God wherever we happen to be. Read, study, and meditate on the life of Jesus…listen to the gentle nudges of the Holy Spirit and live like that. That is our pur-pose in this life as faithful followers of Jesus.
While Woodmar UMC is the Body of Christ, we are also a part of the worldwide Body of Christ, both in our denomination and Christians of all denominations. For as long as the church has existed, there has been disa-greement. The Special Called Session of General Conference that met in February brought into sharp focus the disagreement that exists within our denomination. Many people are hurt and disappointed with the decision of the General Conference to move forward with the Traditional Plan. What are we to do about the upheaval in our denomination? My hope is that we will, first of all, stay on our knees, that we will stay informed (https://www.umnews.org/), that we will be still and know that God is God and we are not, and that we will listen and act upon the nudges of the Holy Spirit.
AS we navigate through these troubled waters, let us not lose sight of what we are called to do right here…right now…in our church…in our neighborhoods…in the city of Hammond…for the sake of the world and the glory of our mighty and loving God.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-2
To your knees, saints of Woodmar, to your knees!
Living in the Grip of God’s Grace,
Pastor Esta