A dear friend of mine sent me an article from our local paper about two churches from different denominations sharing the same building while one of the churches is renovating their space. There is a lot of the Kingdom of God in this article as it points to what Jesus is trying to model in his ministry among us. And, Ash Wednesday is a good day to start reflecting on this way of living together.
Ash Wednesday is the doorway to a Holy Lent. Many of us “Christians” will be going to services throughout the day to have our foreheads marked with the sign of the cross–a pastor or priest “imposes” ashes on our heads. The ashy cross is an outward sign of an invisible, inward grace that signifies to all who see us that we are entering into a Holy Lent, which is a time of reflection, spiritual disciplines and acknowledging our mortality and sin. At the intersection of our sin and the cross, true salvation is available to all.
Rev. Mark Proctor and Rev. Jeff Kane are working together to meet each other at this mysterious intersection of sin and grace, and inadequacy and mercy. Proctor, in a recent article by Marvine Sugg in The Daily Herald, states, “Despite our differences, we agree on the centrality of the cross — we all come together at the cross.” Truly, we all come together at the cross. It is at the cross where we can see the light, and the burden of our heart is rolled away, like that stone on the first Easter morning. It is there, by faith, we can see the light of heaven, and see possibilities to bring heaven on earth for our brothers and sisters.
The United Methodist Church has always had this unique and organic nature of unity in our make up. Each local church is part of the greater church of Methodism, and, therefore, the Church of Jesus Christ globally. Yet, we do not, as Methodists, take advantage of what these two fine churches in Columbia have found possible across denominational lines. The Apostle Paul describes this concept beautifully in 1 Corinthians 12:12– ”Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many.” By focusing on their similarities in the body of Christ, rather than their differences, the Kingdom of God comes “on earth as it is in heaven.”
My charge this Lenten season is to be the body of Christ. I want to experience the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.” I want United Methodists to embrace our unique and organic nature to be the body of Christ, not only across denominational lines, but surely from local church to local church in our greater United Methodist structure, even, and especially, in our community of Columbia and Maury County, Tennessee. May God help us to make it so!
Columbia Daily Herald article: http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcolumbiadailyherald.com%2Flifestyles%2Ffeatures%2Ftwo-different-denominations-thrive-despire-their-differences%23sthash.gYVSshld.dpuf&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHqc9qORZLEsaxhUCLQCSc3Z4oSXA.