Entering its Third Century
The Livonia United Methodist Church is entering its third century. To me that is amazing. For over 200 years the faithful have worked, struggled, prayed and tithed to be sure that God’s message of love and peace was carried forward to the next generation. It is really quite amazing that in spite of all that could go wrong and has gone wrong, this church persevered. What a testimony to those who have gone before us.
As a matter of fact, when you think about it, the Church has moved forward for over 2000 years. I think about the original 12 who were not sure what was happening, but went forward in faith. I think about how the early Christ Followers carried the message forward in the face of persecution. I think about Paul and his three missionary journeys. I think about the Desert fathers and all the saints. I think about the early Bishops who gave us the creeds we still recite. I think about Luther, Calvin, Wesley. I think about Tutu, Mandala, King, Mother Theresa. I think about the priests in the Russian Orthodox Church who kept the Church alive against all the forces of the USSR.
All these persons, the famous and the anonymous are the great cloud of witnesses referred to in Hebrews. The great cloud of witnesses brought the Church and the Gospel to us.
I wonder if those in the future will find us to be part of that great cloud? Will we be as faithful as those who created a church for us to learn about, and worship God?
The Kingdom of God depends on our faithfulness. May we be found worthy.
About the Faithful
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
1 Thessalonians 2:12
. . . encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.