May 24, 2017, 3:24 PM



Over the past few weeks, Sublette United Methodist has served several families during their end of life events funerals, memorials, or life celebrations.  Whatever you call it, this service helps bring closure and hope to those left behind.  Sublette United Methodist Church has a long standing tradition.  Often, after the service, the family is invited to stay for a “Potluck” meal prepared by the hands in our congregation.  Casseroles are made at the church and many people bring in a variety of side dish items. This allows time for family members to visit, interact, and love on each other.  As a Pastor, it warms my heart to see people, united by a common connection, coming together.  Recently, my eyes have come open to specific characteristics of these gatherings.  I want to share a few of these with you.


·         People from a variety of backgrounds and life journeys come together, in love, for a common purpose.  This includes                 people preparing for the service and meal, as well as, people receiving


·         People with the most need are given priority and are taken care of first


·         Everyone is genuinely kind


·         Children are usually served first and are offered a special menu item to their liking (Mac and Cheese).


·         This gathering of people will make an intentional effort and often adjust their own needs to ensure the greater good


I have to admit, this time of service, is when we really exemplify Christ our best.  It is beautiful experience to watch this come together and culminate in love, graciousness, service, and relationship.  This truly is a “Potluck” of food, people, needs, and events coming together to ensure the greater good.  I have been very blessed to witness these occasions.


I am, however, left with a thought.  How do we bring this embodiment of Christ into our church sanctuary, worship, families, and community?  We simply take the elements of what we do best to exemplify Christ and move that into our individual and collective worship.  So, let me share a few thoughts with you.  I have included some helpful bible verses.


·          Worship is our expression of love to God and can be carried out anywhere.  Take your worship everywhere you go home, work, school, just praise our God.  (Psalm 150:1-6)


·          We serve, as Christ served us, in all we do and with our very best.  Each person is uniquely gifted and equipped to serve God for the greater good.  Find your gift and share it with others. (1 Corinthians 12:7)


·          Invite, and be willing to accept, people of all backgrounds no matter where they may be on their faith journey to worship and serve with us.  God simply seeks relationship with us through Jesus Christ first whereby transformation can happen. (John 3:16)


·          Those among us with the most need are given priority and taken care of first.  Faith and spirituality are more difficult to find when basic needs are hard to meet (Acts 20:35)


·          Meet the special needs of our children and let them participate fully.  Children are wiggly and often loud, but, they are also little sponges soaking up everything around them and our future church leaders. (Matthew 19:14)


·          In all we do, we are genuinely kind to each other.  Jesus was asked the greatest command… 1st love God and 2nd like the first, love each other (Matthew 22:37-39)


·          Make intentional effort to adjust your needs to align with God’s will and purpose and place the needs of others before our own. (Philippians 2:3)


I believe God calls Christians, believers in Jesus Christ and his teachings, (Merriam Webster), to this type of unity. While there is certainly room to celebrate the difference among our denominations, or even within our churches, it can never prevent us from doing all we are called to do as a unified body of Christ, fulfilling the will and purpose of God who created all of us.  Together, we are all God’s children. Acts 2:42-47 is one of my favorite resource references as it applies to the body of Christ.

The Fellowship of the Believers (NIV)

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

(Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread, and Prayer). All believers were together and had everything in common. The Lord added daily those who were being saved. 

Love God… Love People… It is that simple.  Oh yeah, enjoy the “Potluck”



Pastor Eddie Pennington

Sublette United Methodist Church