Posts Tagged ‘Luther’

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

January 20, 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrated this week, spoke with some frequency during his years of ministry of putting on the “weapon of love.” Responding to those who resisted the emerging civil rights movement, King asserted, “We will counter your force with soul force, we will match your ability to hate with our ability to love.” And King reminded us that at the heart of Jesus’ life and message is the call to be peacemakers and reconcilers. Violence, said King again and again, “never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problems; it merely creates new and more complicated ones.”

We live in a world thirsty for this gospel of peace. With Martin Luther King, and with Jesus before him, we need to announce with integrity, “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. It is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than on love. It destroys community…Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”

The world today is faced with the same kind of bigotry and hatred that Martin Luther King faced. While we are making great strides in our country to eliminate racism the fact is it is still here. It not only is here but it is seen in so many different countries and is an integral part of their culture.

I want to say I don’t have a cure for the ills of the world but perhaps it would be more accurate if I were to say I know the one who does! Jesus Christ! Jesus tells us the most important part of His teaching is to Love God and Love Neighbor. With that in mind I go back to the Old Testament and the Psalms, Psalm 19 says “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” If we practice what Jesus teaches then there cannot be any room in our hearts for prejudice and hatred.

By the way, if I were to have written the quote from Psalm 19 I would have written “Let the meditations of my heart and the words of my mouth be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” If I am meditating on what God and Jesus Christ would have my words be, then I could be pretty sure that they would be acceptable to them. Meditate and speak. Sounds like a good way to present Christ to the world.

Pastor Randy

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

March 6, 2012

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Spent some time in church, in meditation and in prayer. It was a beautiful weekend here in Orange, Texas. Plants are really budding out and spring looks like it is here.

Along with spring comes my time for going to the Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church Course of Study School. It is a continuing education opportunity for me and we delve into Theology, Administration, Spiritual Growth and many other topics which concern the role of being Pastor.

The course I am enrolled in this semester is “Our Theological Heritage: Reformation” where we delve mostly into Martin Luther’s influence but also delve into others such as Zwingli, Calvin, Bucher, Wycliffe and the disagreement between the Protestant movement and the Catholic Church.

In our discussion Martin Luther’s transformation from a work’s driven Monk to a Grace filled reformer gave me pause to think.  I thought about how many of us in Church today have the mentality that the things we do in Church are what earns us God’s Grace.  Martin Luther was struggling with being able to live a Holy enough life to earn God’s grace but never felt like he did.  He was a monk who followed the rules and did the things expected of good monks but always felt like he was falling short of the mark.  He tells us that what exposed him to the overwhelming grace of God was his meditation of Romans 1:17.

Good News Bible – Rom 1:17

  For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”  

Martin Luther realized that his righteousness was not about what he could make himself do it was about believing in God and what He can do through you.  Martin Luther came to the realization that having faith in God comes first and having faith in God is all that we need to have.   The work that our faith will drive us to do will be what God calls us to do when He is ready for us to do it.  Our faith will help us to live the life God calls us too.  All we have to do is be ready and willing to hear His call and that is acting out our faith.  Faith first, second, third, etc., etc. to the last.  Acting upon our faith leads us into the work God will call us to do.  Our faith helps us to realize that the Grace God has for us is there whether we acknowledge it or not and there no matter what we do.  God loves us. That is what Martin Luther realized and is why his actions changed the world for ever.

God loves you and me.  That is the Good News!