One of the most important times in my week is Wednesday morning. That's the time I get to gather with a few friends to share our faith and ponder out lives. Who are we? Why are we here? What are we to do with our lives? Are we to simply look out for number one and say to heck with the rest of the world? Or are we to study God's word, engage one another and seek a path that seeks to serve as Jesus served?
John 8:12-20, "Again Jesus spoke to them saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'" Of course there were those who challenged Jesus' words. "You are testifying on your own behalf, your testimony is not valid." And Jesus responded, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going." Jesus continues by reminding his audience that while we tend to judge everything by human standards, he judges by a heavenly standard. A standard that looks beyond the individual to the community and to the environment and the values we create. In this contentious season of partisan politics and angry accusations, I am deeply concerned about the environment of our conversations and the values we seem to adopt. Might we pause every now and then and evaluate ourselves? Scripture is clear that we are here to love one another as God has loved us. That means we treat each other with a respect that goes beyond our own selfish needs or desires. That means that we listen and care about our neighbor's lives even more than our own. That means that we find our very identity in the ways we serve. That means that our purpose is to convey the love of God in every way we can, at every opportunity we have, to every person we meet. I am reminded of this and so much more about our lives together because a few friends get up early every Wednesday to share God's word and care for each other's souls. This morning we were directed to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks on all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you."
I am thankful for my Wednesday morning prayer group and pray that you might be surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses in your life, because with their help and God's guidance I might just figure out why I am here after all.
Pastor Pete Nelson of Carson Valley United Methodist Church is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.