Some 30 years ago as I was preparing to enter into covenant as a United Methodist pastor I was asked to explain in writing this statement: Jesus is Lord of all. It was a part of the historical questions asked of Elders as we navigated the crucible called ordination.
Though my answer was nearly four typewritten pages I vividly remember, writing: Jesus is Lord of all creation past, present, and future and no weapon formed against Him or His will will prevail. I also went to describe how Jesus is MY Lord!
I mention this as we prepare to reaffirm our covenant as the United Methodist Church. The General Conference of the UMC is global gathering held every four years to affirm our doctrinal heritage (not create a new one), envision how God is moving and align our programs and budget to join God, and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I am grateful to God and those I will gather with as we represent millions that gather to worship, pray, and plan in awe and humility. We gather as people who stand on the shoulders of those who have been faithful to God, God’s Word, and the authority of God in Scripture knowing we have a charge to keep.
We confess that we are not smarter than those who have gone before us in considering God’s call and charge. The pressure of cultural conformity which has existed throughout humanity is not greater than the power of God and the authority of Christ given us as disciples led by the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that God would be faithful to guide us by His spirit into His way of truth. In Psalm 36:6 we are reminded, “Your holiness is as great as the height of the highest mountains. You are as honest as the oceans are deep. Lord, you keep people and animals safe.”
My friend Keith Cox reminded me of a visual of this truth when he posted this image of Mount Hood as we flew over en route to the Portland Airport. Mount Hood is mighty, but the Lord of all creation is the embodiment of so much more. Be high and mighty O Lord and guide and bless Your people with Your leading and truth! We covet your prayers! The next global General Conference will be in 2020 and half of the UMC will consist of those outside the U.S. by then! May God be praised!