West Union United Methodist Church
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner



  Consider This… From Chris

We’ve been exploring the prophet Jeremiah over the last few weeks in worship.  In many ways it is a harsh book, filled with God’s appropriate judgement of the people for their lack of faithfulness. But throughout the writings of Jeremiah there are sprinkled words of hope and encouragement for the people who have been taken into exile from their homeland. They receive punishment for the way they have neglected God and neglected the needy who lived among them, but God is not finished with them. There is hope.

 One of the passages we have not covered is in Chapter 29 of Jeremiah. "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Now we may not have been ripped from our homes and taken somewhere else, in fact many of you and your families have lived here many decades, but the passage still speaks to us, I think.

Some may think we are not supposed to get political in our churches, but Jeremiah tells us quite the opposite. Politics, at its root meaning, is about the people of the city. Specifically, it's about the governance and the welfare of the people, how we are called to live together, function together.  And that is also the call and mission of the church:  to invite people into being followers of Jesus so that the world, our country, our city, will be transformed by the grace of God.

One of my joys is being part of the North Fayette Valley Ministers Association, an ecumenical group of pastors in our area, which also includes representatives from the NFV school system, the NFV Community Coalition, and the Food Shelf. At our last meeting we had someone from the Fayette County Substance Abuse Coalition, a group that is working on both prevention and recovery. We discussed the emerging and seriouw problem of e-cigarettes and vaping, which has become an issue for even our elementary students.

The ministers, working together, supporting providing Bibles for people serving time in our county jail. Together, we are working to get the Open Hands Food Pantry open in West Union, which our UMC is hosting, to help address the problem of hunger affecting so many families in our area. The churches support the school by providing supplies and clothing, and some by providing mentors and helpers so that our children can learn the basics and also feel cared for. Many from the churches support the Walking School Bus and other health initiatives promoted by our Community Health Nurse.

"See the peace and prosperity of your community, for when it prospers, you, too, will prosper." This is the care of the most vulnerable:  the hungry, the ones in prison, the ones learning life skills, the ones experiencing injustice, the children, the sick, the lonely. This is politics. This is Church. It's what we do when we listen to God's call.