Learning is Foundational for Believers

Learning is Foundational for Believers

Ronald Reagan tells a great story of a youngster who reached the age for kindergarten. His mother began to prepare him for the school experience, buying him new clothes, telling him about all the projects he would do, the other children he would meet and managed to get the young man excited about this new opportunity. He eagerly went off to his first day, and later returned with some very exciting reports of how wonderful the school experience was. The next morning his mom wandered in and said “Honey, time to get up!”. With ruffled hair and through bleary eyes he sat up and proclaimed, “why?”. You have to go to school!” she replied. He rubbed his eyes and said “what, again?!”

Jesus placed a great premium on the adventure of learning. In fact, as we look at the scriptures, even those who didn’t particularly care for him would grudgingly call him Rabbi, or teacher. There is one very important trait shared by true disciples; they long, they hunger to learn more about God, more about Jesus and how to follow as a people who are equipped to serve and care as Christ cares. Initially the followers of Jesus were known as the ones who follow the WAY. Learning is foundational for believers; in order to make sense of who we are as a ministry, we must understand matters which are not easily condensed into a bumper sticker of a cute slogan. Faith is not the absence of wisdom or knowledge; it is the application of reason and experience culminating in transcending the limitations often imposed by “what we can know”.  In order to better know God, we need some info, we need some history, we need some scripture… and in order to do God’s will, to hear God’s voice and to uncover our purpose in God’s dreams of tomorrow we have to be able to learn, to discuss, to grow.

With this in mind and with a few reflections of SHUMC’s present, we will be looking some great opportunities for the summer and fall.. Our aim is to offer teaching experiences and opportunities that quicken our spirits, unearth questions and give us a chance to deepen our own personal relationship with God and with God’s community of grace. Pray for us in these days, for the community of faith is never a static or unchanging entity! We look forward to coming face to face with the future, and in all ways continuing on the path which leads us closer to Christ!

See you in worship,

Rev. Michael

Don’t Play the Blame Game – Rev. Michael’s Musings

“The one who blames others has a long way to go on their journey.
The one who blames themselves is half way there. The one who blames no one has arrived.
—Chinese Proverb

One thing about being young and having siblings is the joy of pointing our finger at them when something goes wrong! “Who made this mess?” my mom would ask my brother and me. Both of us would our quickly point our fingers at the other in the hope of passing off the responsibility. It didn’t work to often; usually mom had a pretty good idea of where it came from and who was responsible.

It is interesting that this tendency to point the finger is often not only meant to avoid accountability but also to distract. And when the finger is pointed in another direction too often, we might get the idea that all our problems are caused by others. One of my favorite quotes goes something like this; “The only common feature of all your dissatisfying relationships is you.” Jesus is indeed right. Even though our fingers may point at others, the reality is we are the authors of all of our dissatisfactions and unrealized expectations. And too often we allow our unhealthiness to keep us looking in all the wrong places for solutions to our troubles, but in pointing the finger we neglect the actual prescription; examine our hearts.

Lent is upon us, the season of examining our hearts. In our worship we will be g at some of the soul struggles that keep us emotionally immature and, and, accordingly clouds our relationship with God and each other. Let’s own what is truly troubling the waters of our spirt: our broken hearts, our self centered souls, and out thoughtless words and deed. Let us ask Christ to illumine our souls and gracefully smooth our personality’s edges. Join us as we work on the heart so that it may not just know Jesus, but that we may love like Jesus as well. Let our fingers point in only one direction, to the source of healing, mercy, and salvation.

See you in worship!
Rev, Michael