So this is my first week as pastor of First United Methodist Church, Jarrell. I haven't even preached yet, but I feel as if I've discovered a new family I didn't even know I had. I visited two weeks ago and the people of the church were so welcoming, it really did feel a little like coming home.
I just realized it's July 4. Perhaps it is no coincidence that I am writing this on the day we celebrate our independence as a nation. Our founding fathers and mothers fought to live and worship in freedom. And today, we as Christians must continue the fight for indpendence. Not necessarily from foreign powers but rather, our fight is and should be to retain our freedom from those forces in our culture that would turn our gaze away from God. The pressure to focus on ourselves--our looks, our status, our money, our "stuff"--is constant and insidious. But Jesus tells us to focus on God and others. To paraphrase, Jesus told us the greatest commandment is to "love God, love people." Everything else is just commentary.
So as we start a new chapter in the life of First United Methodist Church, Jarrell, I am really excited about this community of faith and the things God can and will do through us for the town of Jarrell and beyond. We are primed to love God and love people. I can't wait to see how our story unfolds.
Come join us as we change the world.