One of my favorite Hymns has the following words:
“Take the name of Jesus with you, Child of sorrow and of woe; It will joy and comfort give you, Take it then where’er you go. Precious name! Oh, how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heav’n………”
We United Methodists believe that though faith is personal it is also social. That means that we understand that our beliefs are not to be kept to ourselves. It also means that there is no such thing as a private faith, as faith that impacts us personally is to be used to impact others through interaction, through mutual support and actions that help make this world a better place for all people.
I have been deeply disturbed by what I consider to be a very tragic hijacking of the Christian narrative by so-called evangelical groups. Some of these groups have, in my mind, polluted that word forever. They have presented a brand of Christianity that bears little if any resemblance to what Jesus and his early followers proclaimed to the world. One only needs to do a careful read of the Gospels to see that.
Personally, I have lost all respect for those who fail to appreciate the very fact that Jesus is more than a “personal Savior.” The same Jesus who said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest . . .” is the same Jesus who said, “What you do to the least of these you do to me.”
Or to put it another way, I believe The United Methodist belief in “Personal Piety and Social Holiness” captures who Jesus would have us be and what Jesus would have us do. It reminds us that Christ is in us to work through us. Of course, Christ is deeply concerned about our personal well-being in the world, but He is equally concerned about the well-being of others in the world.
So, may we take the name of Jesus with us…..and…..take it then wherever we go.
– Doug Fairbanks
Published on Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 8:13 AM EDT