FAITH CONNECTION – FARMERSVILLE UMC
Ministry Updates for Wednesday, August 5th 2020
Scripture: Acts 3:13
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus.
Reflection – Pillars of Faith – Christian History – Part 3 of 4
In my seminary education there were four pillars: Biblical studies, theology, Christian History and, well, everything else. Today I would like to talk about Christian History.
Studying Christian History in seminary was a very extreme event for me. On the one hand, it was tremendously calming. On the other hand, it was very upsetting.
It was very calming and assuring to know the saints throughout history had lived faithfully and sacrificially, even to the point of martyrdom, with great devotion to God and to their calling. Their stories are fascinating and still inspire me.
Also, I became aware debates we have today have gone on for centuries. Debates such as exactly when baptism is appropriate to administer are nothing new. It is important to seek God’s will on such issues. It is also important to be aware we may not get every answer we want in this lifetime. Strangely, I found this comforting.
Christian History was very upsetting because of those times when Christians became violent in disagreement. Something we think is wonderful today, such as translating the Bible into native tongues, was the cause of great controversy and even violence.
My Church History professor reminded us that we cannot judge people from another time in history based on our standards today. Of course Jesus said we shouldn’t judge people at all, which is where I finally found myself. I take the inspiration of those faithful saints and try to make the most of it.
As for the violence, I am committed to keeping the body of Christ together even in disagreement. If Jesus can allow Judas to remain at the table during communion, knowing full well his intentions, then maybe Jesus can help us be strong enough to stay together in our disagreements, if only we would have or ask for a little faith.
God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, we give you thanks for those faithful believers who have gone before; from the Saints of Israel, both men and women, through the disciples, and all the way to our Sunday School teachers and church leaders, we give you thanks for the message of hope they bring. Help us be inspired by their witness. Help us be faithful in disagreement. Help us continue to do the work that Jesus did, and empowers his disciples, both then and now, to continue to do. Amen.