Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. Luke 12:31-32 (NLT)
I’m going to stop reading the hand-wringing stuff about General Conference 2016. For the last year or so everyone has something to say about the quadrennial gathering of worldwide Methodists, and how it is going to look like the battlefield after Armageddon.
Of course the issues are what they are…always….posturing for position and power; one group wants this, another that. It’s been the same since Cain and Abel (with about the same result…brother killing brother…at least spiritually, and reputation-wise).
When it comes to hand-wringing over the outcome – whether the progressives or conservatives will win the day – I’m out! I just don’t want to be around for the shouting and finger-pointing.
Well, if you go away from one thing you are, of necessity, moving towards something else. Where will I go with my time, energy, thoughts, prayers, presence, gifts, worship and witness?
I feel a little like Peter when Jesus asked the disciples if they would leave him too:
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. John 6:68 (NLT)
Well, I’m not going away. That’s settled, but there are three places I know I’m going for sure:
I’m a typical pastor, having worked too many long weeks, neglecting the family that God graciously placed in my life. I need and want to pay more attention there.
My Church Family
God also has allowed me to be preacher-pastor to a flock of loving believers. They need less hand-wringing political stuff and more daily-this-is-what-it-means-to-follow-Jesus stuff.
Jesus said to seek the kingdom above all else; he also told us the Father is tickled-pink to give us that kingdom. Whatever else that means, for me the primary target is the opposite of hand-wringing in the Holy Spirit over the outcome of political wrangling; seeking the kingdom is about living in peace, joy and a sense of well-being for the one who truly rests in Christ. That’s what don’t be afraid little flock can lead to!
As I look back over what I’ve just written, the three most important “places” of my life have nothing to do with being where they meet for General Conference to do battle in the arena; in fact they aren’t places at all – my important “places” are people.
How about that?
I guess (in a sense) Jesus did come to die for General Conference….and all hand-wringers everywhere too. But, I don’t think he called me to be a player there; rather he called me to engage where I am – to be there in heart, mind, soul and strength, loving God by loving those around me.
So…if you’re looking someone to join the sit-in, or filibuster the powers-that-be, or someone to write a hand-wringing lash-out over this group or that great injustice to the bumblebee….guess I’m not your man.
If you’re looking for a Jesus-following, lover of his wife, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and church family…that’s where I’ll be.
Maybe there are those who are called to be a hand-wringing Methodist, or Baptist, or whatever brand…but I rather doubt the hand-wringing part.
So, how about putting the hand-wringing worry to the side – be part of the fear-not little flock.
Let’s do a little kingdom-seeking!