by Rev. Dan Morley, North District Superintendent
When bad news comes in multiples, life feels and looks bleak and dark. The future and way ahead does not look promising but rather troubling, perplexing, and at its best, uncertain.
The world is at war.
The economy is faltering.
Our United Methodist Church General Conference is unable to gather.
There are threats of church separation
And even more troubling — a young life in our family ended — Bonnie’s nephew, Christian died at 17-years-old. It was then that the world felt even more fragile and dark.
Through the years along the Christian journey, I have grown to experience the season of Lent as rich and deep. However, there have been times when I have found it to be dark. Perhaps it is because the shadows in this world have encroached and placed a pall over the season.
I almost did not attend worship this past second Sunday of Lent. I am not sure if it was because Alleluia is often not sung in this season, or because it might have been. Not sure if I wanted to hear about sacrifice, death, or fasting in any form. But I was also not sure I was ready to sing Alleluia praises or even hear about hope and life right now. I just wanted to sleep.
But then I went — out of obligation and duty, yes — but more so out of need — my need and the world’s need. I not only attended one, but three services of worship. Did it make a difference?
The world is still at war and we still grieve Christian’s death … And I experienced the presence of the Spirit through our church as a gathered community and through our preachers in their faithfulness of offering the truth of God’s Word spoken, sung, and shared in holy mystery. I was reminded — The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1) and from Psalm 27 — The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
I thank God for our United Methodist community and the faithfulness of our lay and clergy leadership who continue to offer the Good News of Christ and a place of sanctuary for the weary and downtrodden and all who need hope.
Dear siblings in Christ — The world needs you, our church needs you, we all need you. Thank you for your faithfulness through all seasons of life. Christ in you gives us all hope.
In Gratitude and Hope,