When we receive something from someone without seeing our need for it, we tend to be less grateful toward them. We don’t take the gift seriously, and it doesn’t affect our lives as much. A similar result can happen in our relationship with Jesus. He meets us where we are, but if we aren’t in a place where we recognize our need for Him, we can easily brush Him off.
Have you ever wondered what it means to be a Methodist, really? Or, maybe you’ve wondered if there is really a core of essential content to Methodism? Maybe it is just the church you go to if you get married and he’s Baptist and she’s Roman Catholic. You know, the compromise church. Or maybe some of you know recent Methodism too well and you see it not as the compromise church but as the compromised church.
His arrival astonished our human expectations. Matthew describes it in this way: “‘They will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:23). God came to earth in Jesus Christ to be with us. We have the privilege of traveling through life with the greatest Teacher, Friend, and Savior we could ever know.
A few weeks ago, we hosted our JourneyWise annual gathering in Orlando, Florida. Our families were invited to come to enjoy some time away in the beautiful sunshine state and soak in all that Orlando has to offer.
Lent is the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday where we journey with Jesus to the cross and rejoice in His resurrection. At this time, we intentionally remind ourselves of our need for Jesus so that when we celebrate on Easter, we really understand it. Some people do this by fasting or giving up something in their lives, while others take on new habits to bring them closer to Him.
The month of February turns many minds to the idea of love. The feast of St. Valentine, who was said to perform secret Christian weddings under Roman persecution, influences our cultural celebration of romantic love. This is much like St. Nicholas, the generous Bishop of Myra, who shapes our cultural celebration of Christmas. But behind both holidays and both saints stands the deep Christian theology of a God of love who gives and loves out of his infinite abundance.