I have a passion. A passion for helping others, for making sure people feel loved and cared for by the people around them, by their church, their friends. It makes me sad that people can attend a church and not feel loved by the church or not feel like the church cares about them or even cares that they are there.
It happens way too often... How can this be? That’s what the church is for! The mission of the United Methodist Church is making disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world. I’m wondering if we are missing something here. Or maybe we aren’t teaching a really important part of discipleship - service - love - compassion. How can we be missing this?
This week I have been in the position to hear about and see and help with this very thing. Someone wanting to serve in the church and trying to do so for years but just kept falling through the cracks... She has now been invited to join in and better late than never but how sad that it took a couple of years!!
Another person is homebound and wants to attend and be active but has no ride. She is a vibrant lady who is eager to be in fellowship and serve but her pleas for help had gone unanswered for 5 months or more!! I’m sadden by this in a great way. And now even as her pleas are finally being heard, trying to find people willing to help her is difficult. Excuses abound... it’s out of my way... I have to be there early... It’s not convenient... You know what, it’s not convenient for her either! She desperately wants to be a part of the church, to be an active member but she can’t drive anymore so she is being forgotten. It makes me wonder how many others are out there in the same boat. How many others are in my small town church that are being neglected by the church!
Too often these days I see the church letting people down. People pushed out of the church, people ignored, people forced to stay on the outside. Who are we as a church when we let this happen? I’ve run into this in my own family, shoot, myself!!
I think we have forgotten to love. We have forgotten to be inclusive and have all too often become exclusive. We have forgotten that Jesus said, “What you do to the least of these, you do to me.” (Roughly quoted by me)
So when we offer that ride to the elderly or even to the youth wanting to be a part we are also offering that ride to Jesus. When we provide a meal to someone in need or food to a food pantry, we are also feeding Jesus. When we invite people to be a part of our small group, committee, church or so on, we are inviting Jesus in as well.
Are we measuring up? Or are we leaving Jesus out in the cold?