Edith Gleaves, Harbor District
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:8-11
I received an email from one of the pastors of the Harbor District soon after Hurricane Matthew hit. The pastor writes: “As I am in the midst of leading our church in hurricane recovery, I find myself thankful for Hurricane Matthew. Our politically-divided community is working together. As I watched two men in my congregation with polar opposite views on politics and people work side by side with chainsaws helping church members, I found myself giving thanks. Something was uniting them — helping others in the name of Christ with no expectation of payback. Normally, they just avoid each other because they think so differently. Sunday, we were one in Christ. As I watched people come together to fix our generators (we loan them to people in need), there was joy and laughter and celebration, not the right and left wing polarization that has been prevalent the last few months. Hurricane Matthew helped people put things back in perspective. Hurricanes are not all bad if we can sustain this spirit of love and service.”
I share this story, in today’s politically-charged climate in which we find ourselves, because I think there is a principle which applies to the United Methodist Church and the issues which divide and polarize us. As the Commission prayerfully works on the way forward for us, let us remember them, our process, and our denomination in prayer.
Triune God, lead us by your Holy Spirit that we may we be one in Christ in witness to the world through Your love and service. Amen.