Come As You Are

By:  Rev. Don Moore

Pastor, Hico FUMC

Central District

 

Read James 2:1-5

Early in my ministry, my wife and I went to the British Virgin Islands for vacation during hurricane season. Why then? Because it was affordable! September is a break from tourism for locals with most restaurants, stores and even hotels closed for the season. For us, this meant mostly empty beaches, a nicer room that we could otherwise afford and less traffic. Being our first time in the Caribbean, we were quite in awe at God’s creation. Clear blue water, beautiful fish and clean beaches we finally more than a post card image. We stayed at Cane Garden Bay with only two open restaurants.

 

Buying groceries required a trip into Road Town on twisty mountain roads driving on the wrong side of the road. Right on the edge of Cane Garden Bay stands a small yellow building labeled “Methodist Church.” Since we were staying a week, we made plans to attend Sunday morning. Walking towards the church in our shorts and flip flops, we were taken aback by the elaborate dress of the native congregants gathering outside. We turned around to head back to our room when someone said, “Come, worship with us!” They waved at us to come on. We were warmly welcomed and treated as family even though we were strangers with a different color skin and inappropriate attire.

 

As the service began, the worship band started singing “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand. Make this world a better place if you can.” Soon everyone was singing along, and we met every single person in the congregation before the pastor even spoke a word. Worship was powerful, passionate, and deeply meaningful. The contrast of this experience to the cool reception we had received at many large Metroplex UMC churches was stark. James 2 questions whether favoritism and belief in “our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” can co-exist. Whenever I ponder genuine evangelical and invitational ministry, I remember the smiles at Cane Garden Bay and the words, “Come, worship with us!”

 

Thought for the day – God’s invitation to grace is open to all

 

Prayer – Good and gracious God, thank you for receiving us just as we are. Help us to invite all people to join us in experiencing your grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 19th, 2021 – Waco, TX – 9:00-3:30

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT:

www.ctcumc.org/ES22-registration