Just Thinking... Gifts from the Wise Ones


Just Thinking ...

 Well, the Christ Child has come once again, and our lives were touched and will never be the same, I hope. The wise ones came with their gifts of calm, stay, and united. Oh wait, that's not correct. They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, right? I believe that just as the Christ Child has come again into our lives, He also comes to bring us, as United Methodists, new life as a denomination and as a people of God.  I believe the wise ones came from far off to bring the gifts that will help us as Body of Christ to face the difficult, but rewarding tomorrow.

The gift of calm has been given, because all of us need to keep calm and to allow neither the enemy of God nor the issues of this world to bring stress and anxiety to our lives. Keep calm... God is still in control of God's Church. Keep calm... yes, good days are in the past, but the best days are just ahead. Keep calm... as Franklin Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we need to fear is fear itself." Keep calm... and keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith and the Church.

The gift of stay has also been given this season. That seems like an odd gift. It is not so much a thing as an action; it is a verb gift. Stay... don't abandon the ship when the water starts to flood in, but rather grab a bucket and start bailing. Stay... don't run to the safe areas where everyone agrees with you. Stay... and tough it out and grow from this experience.  Stay... and find diversity in the midst of mercy and grace. Stay... close to Jesus, the rock and fortress of our being.

There is also the gift of united. You know where this is going, right? United ... we stand and become the kingdom of God, divided we fall and become the laughing stock of the world. United... we can do so much more for the sake of humanity as we spread the love of Jesus Christ. United... we agree to disagree and we remain in love with each other until the Lord Jesus makes all things known and His will is completed in and through us all. United... we are the United Methodist Church with all its faults and short-comings, with all its love and grace to give away. 

Keep Calm and Stay United. It is more than a catchy slogan. It is a clarion call for the people called Methodist in this day and time. We can show the world that the people of God can move through difficult waters and come out safely on the other side. I know that many of you may disagree with me, and that is okay.  I'm going pray all the harder for us to be one in Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry for all the world. 

I invited you pray, regardless of how you feel about our denomination. I invite you to ask your congregation to pray for the future of Christ's Holy Church, especially The United Methodist portion. I invite you to pray daily for the Way Forward Team. I invited you to pray during the North Georgia week for prayer.  I invite you to keep calm and to keep the main thing the main thing, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 

Keep calm, and please help to keep me calm, too. 


Thank you all for the gift of my Study Leave. The majority of the work for my Doctor of Ministry program is complete. There will be classes on Monday afternoons  this semester and some additional work, but this is the home stretch. I am grateful to DeDe Leetch and Coy Hinton for covering for me and to each of you for your prayers.

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