Christ United Methodist Church
Friends, as we move into the new year, it is helpful to rethink our purpose in life and the direction we are heading. Many are making resolutions that will keep them in good health or good faith, while others are just grateful to live to see another year. It is always beneficial to think critically about who we are and what we want in life. Life is as good as we make it to be … it takes thinking, planning, and discipline. Most successful people are great thinkers, planners and are self-disciplined.
As Christians, I believe we should always examine our beliefs and understandings of who
we are as followers of Jesus Christ. In the bible, followers of Jesus are referred to as
“those who are called” (Jude). What does it mean that believers are “called”? Followers of Jesus
are “the called”, that is, we have been called out from the kingdom of the world and are now
living in a new kingdom… a new community called “the church”. We are a community living
in the world, though we are not of the world; the church exists in the world, but we are called
to pattern our living after that of Christ our Lord.
We all know that the church is not the building where we worship… the church is not an
institution … it is not a place where we get to make friends, get married or have our funeral
services there, though these naturally happen when we do life together as a community.
Rather, the church is made up of people who not only professed their faith in Christ but
have committed themselves to follow Jesus faithfully and sacrificially. These are people who truly have met Christ and have personally been transformed by his grace and mercy. The church consists of people who love God with all their hearts, minds and souls … and are prepared to defend their faith to the end.
For the next six weeks, we will be looking closely at what the church is … what the church believes … and why we must be diligent in growing our faith and knowledge of the word of God. We live in a culture that is increasingly becoming more and more hostile toward the church. So, in order to continue the mission Christ has given us, it is crucial that we understand who we are and what we believe. To not do so will defeat our very existence as ‘the church’.
As any successful person who thinks critically …plans strategically … and with discipline, are able to achieve the impossible, ‘the church’ must also be of the same attitude and mind. We are, however, different from these successful people in that, without God we can do nothing. But we must keep in mind that without effort, God cannot accomplish anything through us. My prayer is that we will do all we can to accomplish the tasks that God has placed before us.
May you have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to seeing you in CHURCH!
Pastor Mao Her