….A newsletter from the desk of Pastor Steve-Alton United Methodist Church….
Last week I witnessed a middle-school aged son ask his mother “what’s that thing?” The teenager was pointing to a phone with a rotary dial. The mother explained to her son that people used to stick their finger in one of the holes, then turn the dial in order to call someone. The teen was amazed that this was how people used to call each other on the phone. Wow. I was hit between the eyes with the fact that something I used most of my life through high school was now quite archaic and foreign to this middle schooler. No doubt, the tools we use for communicating with each other have changed dramatically over the last few decades in a big way.
I will be officiating a wedding this summer, but since both the prospective bride and groom live out of state, we haven’t been able to meet in person. Yet we have been able to meet via Skype, communication technology which enables people to dial-up each other anywhere in the world with their computers. Thanks to cameras and microphones in our computers we are able to see and hear each other on our laptops. Could you have imagined such a thing happening just a few years ago? Makes me wonder how we will communicate with each other a decade from now.
Despite the incredible advances in technology during the past few decades, there is a form of communication that still has all the others beat. This form of communication is not new, it’s been around ever since we human-folk started walking around on this planet of ours. If you desire to communicate with someone, there is no better way of doing so than through personal interaction. Jesus taught and modeled this for us often, including an occasion when he was speaking to a large crowd while saying to them: “Let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” Jesus didn’t tell them to share a book about doing good things, he told them to do good things. Parents know this. The most effective way to teach a child to love, to forgive, to share, is to model it for them.
While it is helpful to share resources such as books and websites about our faith with people in our community, there is nothing more impactful than doing when it comes to communicating the message of our church (which according to our UMC mission statement, is to “Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.)
What a blessing it is to be part of a church family that is active in doing ministry; I remind you there are many opportunities to be involved in doing ministry with our church, whether it’s offering resources to local children at the elementary school, food to the St. Joe’s Food Cupboard and Crossroads Ministries, helping at a church breakfast, offering your presence and encouraging words to the homebound, providing a ride to church, or participating in a United Methodist Women’s outreach program, along with other opportunities
We’ve come a long way since rotary phones; no matter how slick our cell phones and computers become, let’s be sure we continue to communicate the Gospel with our doing!
“Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.” (1 John 3:18)