Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.
By Rev. Mandy Sayers
Pastor, Covenant UMC, Gaithersburg
To reclaim something is to take it back, like land reclaimed from the sea or a team reclaiming a championship after a building year. As I reflect on the current political scene and my own time at various marches in Washington, and as I hit my knees each week in sermon preparation praying to be “hidden behind the cross,” the word “reclaim” holds power for me.
Could it be that this could be a season to reclaim who we are as followers of Jesus? Could it be that there is hope in so many United Methodists finding their voice, in favor of issues that matter so deeply to us as people of faith?
Never in my lifetime have I so often felt the pull of my baptismal vows and the command to “resist evil, injustice
I am a follower of Jesus and, as such, I have a mandate to love neighbors and enemies. I have a responsibility for those on the margins. The Jesus who saved me and who I follow as Lord of my life, and of all creation, came to tear down walls, not build them. My baptism is clashing with my newsfeed in ways that are new and uncomfortable for me.
I don’t preach politics from the pulpit and the idea of partisan politics, in the sense of having Demorepublicocrat debates in church, makes me crazy. God has given us a church that is diverse in every way that is measured, and I’m grateful. I’ve always been grateful not to pastor a church where everyone is “like me.” That church would be small and monotonous and often wrong.
But I do preach Christ and him crucified. I preach the gospel of Jesus for the world that God created and redeemed and is bringing to consummation. I preach about God’s grace and God’s kingdom.
The word being whispered in my ear these days is “reclaim.” God has claimed us (long ago, in my case). Some seasons, it is easier to live into that identity than others. Other times, the easy yoke of Jesus doesn’t feel all that easy. Let this be a season of reclamation, in every heart, every family, and every congregation.
God is on the throne, Jesus Christ is Lord, and woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. May we reclaim