Ministry Updates for Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

 Scripture for reflection – Joshua 1:6

Be strong and courageous; for you (Joshua) shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 

Reflection – Courage

I do not know if courage is something you can teach. It seems like we know it when we see it. I do know no one wants to be considered a coward. For most of our lives, we can live somewhere between cowardice and courage without betraying God or humanity.

 Without a doubt we are called to ‘resist evil, injustice and oppression’, in this world. This quote is taken straight from our United Methodist baptism and membership vows. But Jesus also called us to ‘love our enemies and pray for them’.

 The simple truth is that we are against evil, and for people. Maybe understanding the difference between these two is the beginning of courage.

 Some people are so wrapped up in evil acts that we seem to have no choice but to view them as evil. But one story (a very short version of it) might make us think again.

 If you ever wonder if people can really change, you may want to consider John Newton. He was a captain of a ship in the slave trade in the 1700’s. He was called ‘the most offensive person in the whole slave trade’ by another captain. He had a conversion experience, became an Anglican priest, and wrote the lyrics to Amazing Grace. Yes, God can turn around even a person like that.

 I think it takes courage to not ‘write people off’, but rather engage them. We are against evil, injustice, and oppression, and we are for people. It is a simple but important distinction. And it is the beginning of the hard work of reconciliation. It takes courage to lead people out of slavery into the promised land.


God who created all nations, races, and cultures, we give you thanks for the diversity and beauty of your created world, including the people in it. We pray for our nation and world as we struggle with racism, privilege, and violence. Help us learn to stand against the ‘things’ that interfere with your purposes, and pray for everyone to grow closer to you, even our enemy.  Amen