Pastor’s Corner: February 12, 2017 by Rev. Kelly Durbin
“Be the change you want to see in the world” …attributed to Gandhi.
SunCoast Cathedral MCC, are you dead or alive? What good is “God-talk” without “God-actions” in our world? These are the questions we must consider as followers of Christ. Jesus did not pray, spend time in communion with God, and speak only. He put his faith into action and those actions matched his words. As Followers of Christ, we are imitators of Christ, or “Christ Bearers”; so, this requires us to do as Jesus did. Just as we cannot separate bone from marrow or our spiritual selves from our physical selves, we cannot separate our faith from our “service”. If we do, the remains will need to be buried like a corpse!
I like to call it “congruent living” where our thoughts, our spiritual lives and communion with God, and our actions or “service” are all consistent; consistently loving. Admittedly, this is much harder in practice than in theory. Our egos and thoughts of “me first” or “look at me” get in the way many times. We may say we want to help others, all the while stepping on someone else’s toes to get to the front of the line, to get the best bargain first, or to obtain a promotion or position of power. That’s why Gandhi did the internal work he needed to do to make himself “zero”; motivated by love for others. This is indeed consistent with the teachings of Christ to treat others as you would treat yourselves, to offer another your coat (or in FL a hat and sunscreen), or to stop and really listen to another’s story with compassion and understanding. If we were ALL motivated to care for others out of the love God has for each of us, then our own needs would be extravagantly met as well, because others would love and care for us too.
Understand we are not zeroes to God. We are extravagantly loved beyond measure or condition, so we can then love others from that place of abundant love. Serving and giving to others is what we are called to. As we sang the week before in service, “We need each other to survive.” So today, I would like to encourage you to find something God has given you a passion for and look for ways to serve out of that passion. And remember, faith and serving going together like peanut butter and jelly, or even better, peanut butter and chocolate! So, go out there and “be the change you want to see in the world”. It will come back to you.
Rev. Kelly Durbin
Pastors corner for the week of February 5, 2017
Teach Us to Pray
Last Sunday our sermon series topic was Prayer. Prayer is an important part of our work as followers of Christ. Jesus gave many examples of his practice of prayer. He would spend time early in the morning in prayer, after ministering to the multitudes he would go spend time in prayer. His disciples asked, teach us to pray. It is a valid request to ask. Jesus gave us all the model prayer from The Message Bible: “Our Parent in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right; do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty!” Yes. Yes. Yes. In prayer, there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.
We must do our part for God to do God’s part. If we need prayer, we must let each other know. We are told to call on the leaders of our community, ask to be anointed and ask for prayer. We saw examples of that on Sunday. The important part of prayer, is we need each other to survive. Please hear the words from “I Need You to Survive.” ‘I need you, you need me. We’re all a part of God’s body. Stand with me. Agree with me. We’re all a part of God’s body. It is God’s will that every need be supplied. You are important to me, I need you to survive. I need you to survive. I pray for you. You pray for me. I love you. I need you to survive. I won’t harm you, with words from my mouth. I love you, I need you to survive.’
May it be so, Amen
Pastors corner for the week of January 22, 2017
The Beat Goes On
What an honor and privilege to hear the sermon from Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell. The scripture was from Matthew 4; it is right after Jesus hears that John the Baptist has been arrested. Jesus could have done several things. He could have been sorrowful, he could have been angry or he could have quit. But that is not what Jesus did. He chose to move. John the Baptist had prepared the way of the kingdom. Jesus began to preach the kingdom of heaven is here. He did not want to lose the momentum and all the hard work John had begun; so, he moved. Jesus selected his disciples because he realized he needed help to carry out the mission and ministry.
Jesus gives a wonderful example of how the body of Christ should do ministry. Some of the body prepares the way for ministries to be birthed. Some of the body continues the ministries that were started. Some of the body steps out of the way when it is time for others to grow and step into their own call. Jesus is a transformational leader. He led by example. If we need help, ask for help. If we want to be a mentor for others to help them step into the call of leadership, then be available to be a mentor. Jesus allowed for questions to be asked and answered and he listened. Let’s make sure we are on the same page of music so the beat goes on.
May it be so.