Today, I found new hope for The United Methodist Church in the form of Bishop Hee-Soo Jung. Bishop Jung, the preacher at this morning's worship, spoke of the need for our denomination to recognize that we are at a crossroads--what he called "the intersection between holiness and hospitality." Holiness describes our connection to God, a deep relationship that gives us strength. Hospitality describes our connection to others--a wide embrace of all people, created in God's image. Bishop Jung also spoke of the need to "re-member" the Body of Christ--meaning that we need to be able to see a way to put ourselves back together. Too much focus on either holiness or hospitality creates a false idolatry--one that we all too often fall prey to in the Church. Bishop Jung closed by reminding us that, ultimately, it is not we who save ourselves through having the right opinion about Jesus, but Jesus who saves us by his love--stretched out on the cross.
This sermon gave me courage. It gave me hope (there's that word again!). It gave me a reason to believe that The United Methodist Church does have a future, despite our differences, and despite the idolatries that sometimes get in our way.
It's really late, and I'm going to bed. Only one more day of General Conference left, and miles more to go. . .
Traveling on to perfection,
P.S.-- I finally got to connect up with Aunt Sara's pastor, Rev. Jim Winkler. He said that he thinks very highly of her and Carl Henry, and believes that Carl would "eat this up" if he were at General Conference.