Here are my thoughts for the “Back Page” of the Fishkill UMC bulletin for this Sunday, 10 November 2019, the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, Year C. Services begin at 10 but you can come early and practice with the choir!
I always wondered why so many United Methodists churches in the Midwest look alike but then I found out that there was a collection of blueprints church designers and builders could pick from when building a new church. Still, seeing the outside of the church really doesn’t tell you what is going on inside the church. Does one feel the presence of the Holy Spirit or is it just another building?
Cynthia Bourgeault, in The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind, wrote
“Jesus never asked anyone to form a church, ordain priests, develop elaborate rituals and institutional cultures, and splinter into denominations. His two great requests were that we “love one another as I have loved you” and that we share bread and wine together as an open channel of that interabiding love.”
Haggai reminds the people of Israel that they were not simply rebuilding a building; they were building a home for God, a place for the Holy Spirit. In doing so, they were able to better discern God’s presence in their lives.
Stewardship is about finding ways to make God’s presence in our lives through the ministry of the church. It is not found in the old ways but in the new, of considering what Jesus did and how we can best continue to do that. ~~Tony Mitchell