As we all know, spring is just around the corner. Also, Easter is just around the corner.
As I look out my window today, I see some snow and lots of wind. It doen’t feel much like spring. But just two days ago it was warm and sunny, so I was out looking at my garden plot thinking about what I was going to plant in a few weeks. I was full of hope and desire to get started planting, watering, and weeding my next garden. I had to stop and remind myself that it was just March 1, and we still could have lots of cold and snow in our future. And today it’s here.
One of the things I have learned is not to get too excited about the upcoming season changes, and to realize each day, week or season has its own purpose. I’m a farmer, so I’ve learned that each season has its rewards and challenges. In the winter, as today, I’m in my office, and I’m planning my crop rotation for this next year, thinking how I can do a better job of raising crops and taking care of God’s gift to me: the soil. Even though a few days ago I was ready to get into the fields and do something. Today all I can do is just spend time thinking about what I’m going to do.
I wonder if our faith is a lot like that.
As I get older and have more experiences from which to draw, one thing that God has helped me with is patience. When I was much younger, I could not wait to plant or harvest a crop. Today I wonder if my faith hasn’t changed along the same lines. Change is always occuring both in our daily lives and also in our churches. My local church isn’t the same church as when my wife and I started attending it. The Sunday service has changed, and the activities have changed. But just like our faith, the purpose is still the same.
The United Methodist Church is the midst of change today. Some of us are afraid of what our church will look like after these changes occur. Some of us think it’s about time our church caught up to our society. But most are just unsure what our church will stand for or how our church will change its practices – and, most importantly, how our very diverse church will stay together.
I think that throughout our history, we as United Methodist have taken on the tough issues. We have disagreed on many issues that separated us. For some of us the issues will be a reason to worship elsewhere, but for most of us this is our church, and we will remain a part of it, even though we may personally disagree with an issue here or there. That has been the strength of the United Methodist Church throughout our history. We may disagree on an issue, but we still worship, work and love together.
As the season is about to change and we once again look forward to celebrating our Lord’s resurrection. My wish for Our Church is that we all take a step back and let our faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit unite us in our purpose.
Open Doors, Open Minds, Open Hearts is our motto and purpose as believers in Christ.
Learn more about Lay Servant Ministries, including details about upcoming training opportunities.
Mary Feit is director of Lay Servant Ministries for the Great Plains Conference.