We’ll Be Live Tomorrow

Last week, the 10:30 worship service was live streamed on Periscope. We plan on doing the same tomorrow (February 11, 2018). You can watch live at: www.pscp.tv/AFUMC/follow or replay the service later on in the week.

If you follow the link above on your phone or tablet, you’ll have to download the app and create a user account. If you use a computer, you can watch through your browser without creating an account, by simply clicking the X at the top of the window that pops up.

I want to thank Mike Spohn for his work getting us online, but please remember that this project is still very much in beta testing.


In a previous post, I wrote “If you feel differently and this post angers you, don’t hesitate to let me know. But be sure and let me know why in a carefully reasoned dissent.” I said it and I meant it, and today I had a couple of good, solid conversations as a result. I want to point out that the invitation is not limited to that particular topic, it stands on every topic I say or write something about. I think that such conversations are foundational to our identity as United Methodists.

Everybody Can Be Great

There was an inspiring quote from Martin Luther King in an advertisement for Dodge Ram Trucks during yesterday’s Superbowl. The quote was inspiring as was the sermon it came from. But if you take time to read the entire sermon you’ll find (as you probably already guessed) that King did not preach that sermon to sell trucks. If you read the entire sermon, you’ll find an argument for being content with the material things we have and striving for the greater things of Christ Jesus.

It’s well worth your time to read the entire sermon, but here’s the part that was quoted in the commercial yesterday:

And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important— wonderful. If you want to be recognized— wonderful. If you want to be great— wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.

… By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir. Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Strive for greatness today.

Link to the entire sermon: http://stanford.io/2GPnuSZ

Martin Luther King, “The Drum Major Instinct,” in A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. Clayborne Carson and Peter Holloran (New York: Intellectual Properties Management in Association with Warner Books, 1998).

Really, Don’t Hesitate to Let Me Know

In my last post, I wrote “If you feel differently and this post angers you, don’t hesitate to let me know. But be sure and let me know why in a carefully reasoned dissent.” I said it and I meant it, but so far my dad is the only one who has taken me up on it. I can honestly say that I appreciated what he had to say.

Is the U.S. Losing Our Heart and Soul?

According to an article in The Kansas City Star: “Immigration officials arrested Syed Ahmed Jamal in his Lawrence front yard on Jan. 24 while he was taking his daughter to school.” Jamal first came to the U.S. to study at Kansas University in 1987, he has three children who are U.S. citizens, and has “taught chemistry as an adjunct professor for several area colleges.” He faces persecution and possibly death if he is returned to Bangladesh.

I know that this is happening to countless individuals and families all over the country, but this case is hitting me particularly hard. Not only is this deportation un-Christian, it is against our self-interest. What kind of country are we becoming? If you feel differently and this post angers you, don’t hesitate to let me know. But be sure and let me know why in a carefully reasoned dissent. I would be almost relieved to hear a coherent case being made for this course of action. It might allow me to sleep better at night.

Link: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article198215114.html

Rick Montgomery, “Kansas Chemistry Instructor Arrested by ICE While Taking His Daughter to School,” The Kansas City Star, February 2, 2018, accessed February 03, 2018, http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article198215114.html.

Not a Theory, But a Meal

Tomorrow is the first Sunday and we’ll be celebrating communion. It’s my belief that United Methodists have often underestimated the importance of this sacrament. One of the reasons it’s important is that it conveys the meaning of Jesus’s death and thus the depth of God’s love. N. T. Wright put it succinctly:

I have made the point elsewhere, but it bears repeating: when Jesus wanted to explain to his followers what his forthcoming death was all about, he did not give them a theory, a model, a metaphor, or any other such thing; he gave them a meal. — N. T. Wright

Come celebrate Holy Communion with us and know the depth of God’s love for you.

N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion (San Francisco: Harper One, 2016), locations 2994-2996 of 7465, Kindle.

At Whatever Cost

From C. S. Lewis’s classic, Mere Christianity:

Though our feelings come and go, His [God’s] love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him. — C. S. Lewis

In the passion and death of Jesus Christ, we’ve seen the cost to God. How long will we cling to our sins and drive up our cost?

C. S. Lewis, “Charity,” in Mere Christianity (1952).