It Is Time To Dream
This weekend, we are wrapping up our three-week worship series, “Live in Love: What’s Next for the United Methodist Church.” The first week, we talked about our recent history and the context of the current flashpoint in the UMC regarding marriage and ordination of people in the LGBT+ community. Understanding how we got to where we are is important.
Week two, we talked about the handful of Scripture passages that are cited by people who condemn same-sex relationships, and thought together about the alternative ways to translate those passages. Understanding why we believe what we believe is important, as well.
Now, this week, it is time to dream.
There is no way to know for certain what the future holds, of course. But we can imagine it. And Ephesians 3 says that whatever we can imagine, God can do far more! That means that our future is limited only by the scope of our imagination.
I am convinced that God is going to be doing something amazing within and through the United Methodist Church in the years to come. Future generations of United Methodists are going to be changing the world in ways we haven’t even thought about yet. Grounded in grace, guided by love, and connected to one another in the community of the Spirit, United Methodists in years to come will continue the sacred work of building the ever-more inclusive Reign of God on earth.
Ephesians 6 reminds us that our struggle is not against one another, but against the “cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” It is time for United Methodists to stop struggling against one another, and connect our energy into overcoming the evil forces that are aligned against God’s purposes.
The future of the church isn’t going to be strategically planned, determined through cost/benefit analyses, or set according to balanced budgets. The future of the church is going to be dreamed. It will be imagined, and created, and sung into being. The future of the church is bright and beautiful, and it starts this weekend at Manchester UMC!