The month of November is going to be REVOLUTIONARY at Manchester UMC!
This week, we are beginning a worship series that will lead us up to the celebration of “Reign of Christ Sunday” on November 26th. We are calling the series “Revolutionary Love” and focusing on the life-changing power of God in our lives. If we are serious about our mission to “make a difference for Christ in the world,” then change is implied. And more than just incremental change – change that really makes an impact.
German theologian Deitrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “The people who love, because they are freed through the truth of God, are the most revolutionary people on earth. They are the ones who upset all the values; they are the explosives in human society.” Love is truly a revolutionary force, the most powerful counter-measure to fear, anger, and hatred – all those things that work against the desires of God for the world.
We will begin the revolution with the words of Jesus that we know as “The Beatitudes,” found in Matthew 5:1-12. These revolutionary words completely transform our expectations about God’s blessing. God blesses the poor, the meek, the merciful. Imagine if we could actually live according to the priorities expressed in these blessings – talk about revolutionary! It would completely change the world.
Also, we will celebrate “Revolutionary Love” in a couple of particular ways this weekend. First of all, through the sacrament of Holy Communion, which is a tangible expression of God’s love. In the sharing of bread and cup, the church announces and embodies divine love in all its revolutionary power.
Also this weekend, we will honor “All Saints Sunday” by remembering members of the congregation who have died in the past year. As we remember those whom we have lost, our love for them comes very close to the surface. The Holy Spirit embraces this love and allows us to experience it as grief. Though grief is painful, it is truly an expression of the love we feel for one another.
So make a point to be in worship this month as we celebrate the “Revolutionary Love” of God, made known in Jesus, and brought to life by the Holy Spirit. Is it possible that we could become, in Bonhoeffer’s words, “the most revolutionary people on earth?”
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) The Season of Advent is upon us, and the waiting has begun. We