I Believe in the Church!

One of the core “why’s” in my heart is church.  I believe in the church. I am the pastor of Bear Creek United Methodist Church because I believe with all my heart that God is using us to help transform this world!  One of the key ways that transformation happens to us is in the personal realm. God transforms our hearts! This Sunday, in worship, I am going to do something I have only done once before in my 28 years as a pastor: I am going to preach a sermon WITH someone else.   

These past two years, one of the Bear Creek folks I have had the privilege to know is Jim Colqhoun.   Jim’s wife, Diane, passed away just about 2 years ago. She had Parkinson’s and Jim was her prime caregiver for over 7 years.  A couple of weeks ago I was sharing with Jim about my attempt to tell God’s story in a 4-part sermon series and that the 2nd week would be what I am calling the “We Fall” part of the story.   As I was describing this, he immediately warmed to me and said, “That kind of sounds like me.”   And after about an hour of talking and a couple of days praying, I finally mustered up enough nerve to ask him if he’d like to try this experiment with me and with all of you.   He graciously accepted.

As we have worked on this sermon a couple of questions have permeated our conversation.  One is the question of “the fall.” The fall is a part of the story that pertains to human beings.  Act one of the story is that God made each of us “very good!” God made us awesome! But part 2 of the story is the fact that we fall.  Adam and Eve eat the apple. Cain kills Able. Human beings, in the biblical story, move quickly from being good, to being “not so good.”  So how do we interpret that? Does everyone have to be “bad” before they can be saved? Jim shared with me, that in his story, God worked through the church “to save” him.   That’s an incredible statement, but what does it mean?

Another question we wrestled with is: “how does healing happen?”   Jim is remarkably clear on how messy healing is! To me that is refreshing to hear.   In the Bible healing often happens with one touch of Jesus’ hand. Jim’s story isn’t so instant, but it is still remarkable how God is still working through others and through Jim to bring healing into this broken world.

One of the reasons I have shied away from “witness” stories is that many times some of the witness stories seemed to say or claim too much.  There is a pressure put on us that if we are going to speak about God working in our lives, it better be dramatic and miraculous. If you feel that way, as you hear Jim speak, you will become aware of how subtle and yet powerful God can work in and through others in the church.

If you can’t make it to worship, please check out our “live feed” on our church Facebook page!   The sermon usually starts about 10 a.m. Don’t miss this Sunday’s message. We’re trying a new thing and you will certainly want to be a part of this!

Your pastor and friend, learning to let God make all things new, Brook

Tim Schaaf