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October 2, 2020 - and the seven lampstands...

The above words come from the end of Revelation, chapter one. The words that follow in the next two chapters are letters to seven churches. I have often wondered what a letter to our church today would be like. Would there be ministry that we could be commended for? Would we still be in love with our first love? Would we be lukewarm and spit out of our Lord’s mouth? I don’t know.

But I do know that we are accountable for the ministry or lack of ministry that flows out of our church. Some years ago, I heard Bishop Wilke call the United Methodist church to task for our ministry and lack of. He simply said that whatever the state of the church today, we are accountable for it. I agree with him. I was astonished to find that many of those who sat with me were offended that they would be held accountable for our church.

As I said, I don’t know what a letter from our Lord would say to us today, but I do know that we will be judged by Him for our efforts, or lack of effort. If we have excluded people from our fold, we will be called to task for it. If we have looked the other way when confronted with our neighbors’ needs, we will be asked why.

Now, I know that these are not very comforting thoughts. But I also know that if we surrender our lives and churches to Christ and follow where he leads us, we have nothing to worry about.

Each of us has a role to play. It is through our combined efforts that a mighty work for God’s kingdom will be done here in Bedford. It starts with our relationship with our God – Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit. As we draw near to God, we have eyes to see what God wants us to do.

Lord, we know that we are responsible for the state of your church today. Guide us to become the people and congregation you created us to be. Amen.

Always, to God be the glory!

Paul

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