August 6, 2020
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
What do you say when someone asks you what your religion is? In my experience, a lot of people tend to answer with their denomination.
I get what they’re saying, but…these aren’t religions. They are expressions, denominations, of the same religion; Christianity. I’m a Christian first and foremost. The United Methodist Church is my home within the Christian faith. We are not a religion. We are a denomination, and a kind of weird one at that as we’ll get into on Sunday. We are a denomination.
I’ve heard money used to explain this distinction. Five $1 bills spends just as well as a $5 bill. There are differences, from how many you need of each denomination to buy something, to which president’s face is on the front, but they’re all US currency. In the end, all the Christian denominations, we’re on the same team. We’re all the body of Christ. We have different roles to play, and different gifts to offer. But we’re all Christians.
But I’ve found my home in the body of Christ within the United Methodist Church because how we understand and practice our faith speaks to something inside of me like no other tradition or denomination does. I am a Christian, and I practice Christianity, understand Christianity, and live out my faith in Christ as a United Methodist.
We’re going to spend the next 5 weeks looking at a couple of ways that make the United Methodist Church distinct from other denominations. We’re going to explore the unique gifts that the United Methodist Church offers to the larger body of Christ and how we’ve gotten to where we are today. I’m excited about this series. (I’m excited about every series, but I’m a dork and a pastor. It’s what we do.) I hope that when we’re all said and done with this series, we’ll all have a better understanding of our identity, individually and together as Magnolia Methodist, about who we are as United Methodists.
This Sunday, to kick off the worship series, I want to invite us all to join together at the table of Christ, either in person or virtually. We’re going to celebrate communion. If you’re livestreaming worship, light a candle in your home to signify God’s presence in your “sanctuary” and have some juice and bread available for communion. It’s always a good thing to remember we are one with Christ and one with each other. In this time of social distancing, we need to be reminded that we aren’t alone.
Finally, don’t forget to join us at Magnolia Elementary on Nichols Sawmill Rd. at 7:30 Sunday evening to pray for the school we’ve pledged to pray for. Let’s have a good turn out as a witness to our support for our community’s students and schools.
See you Sunday!