Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 23, 2017

Parson to Person - Lighten up and live

By REV. DEBORAH STOWERS, First United Methodist Church | Feb 10, 2017

One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, “I’m not going.”

“Why not?” she asked.

“I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One, they don’t like me, and two, I don’t like them.”

His mother replied, “I’ll give you two good reasons why you should go to church. One, you’re 54 years old, and two, you’re the pastor!’”

What does it mean when a pastor takes off her or his watch and places it on the pulpit? Answer: “Absolutely nothing?”

A party of United Methodist ministers was attending an annual conference at a private countryside resort. Several of them set off to explore the area, and presently, they came upon an old bridge that crossed a quiet pond. Unfortunately, they didn’t notice a sign declaring the bridge to be unsafe.

As they crossed it, the caretaker came running after them. “Hey! You there! Get off that bridge,” he protested.

“It’s all right,” declared one of the ministers. “We are in this resort with permission. We’re Methodists from the Conference.”

“I’m not worried about that,” replied the caretaker. “But if you don’t get off that bridge, you’ll all be baptists!’”

Why didn’t they play cards on the ark? Answer: Because Noah was standing on the deck.

Why couldn’t Jonah trust the ocean? Answer: Because he knew there was something fishy about it.

Why am I sharing this? Answer: Because we live in a tense world, you don’t need me to tell you this.

The events and situations on all levels are serious and there are reasons to be concerned. There are reasons for serious thought and reflections. There are reasons for action and advocacy, but, I believe, to allow negative thoughts to dominate and depress is not wise or helpful. I believe in all times and in all places, there are reasons for joy. How so?

We serve a living, risen Savior who is God and Lord, but who is also our brother and friend. Jesus understands us. We have been created by God in God’s own image. We are made out of really good stuff. We have been given an advocate, the Holy Spirit, who is a constant companion, and source of comfort and strength. We are never alone. We have been given gifts by God to sustain our lives and to assure growth in maturity and love of our neighbor. We have hope that does not disappoint. We have divine promises that are true and will be fulfilled. We have faith.

The psalmist writes in Psalms 126:2-3, “Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs. Then the nations said, ‘The Lord has done spectacular things for them.’ The Lord has done spectacular things for us. We are overjoyed.”

Lighten up and live, people of God.

 

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