This is the official Blog of the Boothsville United Methodist Charge and Rev. Dr. Michael C. Richards, Pastor. We welcome anyone to engage with us in spiritual reflection and discussion.
|Posted by Rev. Mike Richards on June 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Here's a song to bless your spirit, Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons. What a blessing!
|Posted by Rev. Mike Richards on June 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
Beginning in July, I will start a Summer Sermon Series on "Life in the Spirit". Over 10 weeks I will explore the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Spiritual Life, The Baptism of the Holy Spirit (as increasingly fuller measures of our awareness of the Holy Spirit), and the Gifts of the Spirit. This feature was part of our initial planning for our Ministry Action Plan and I hope will be informative, inspiring, and insightful. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no Church, nor is there a Christian life to live. I welcome any feedback, questions and/or issues you want addressed in the series, or any insight and/or testimonials you may have.
Grace and Peace,
|Posted by Rev. Mike Richards on April 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
1 John 1: 1-2:2
The epistle reading for this coming week states emphatically, "Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light and in him there is no darkness at all." (v. 1:5) The writer of this epistle posits that the very foundation of the gospel message is that God is light (illumination, revelation, He who brings clarity). We are further told that we are to walk in this light. This is a very powerful invitation to us in a world filled with so much darkness, obsfuscation (that is the conceal the truth), power-mongering, and brokenness.
Our media outlets condition us toward sensationalism, our politicians demogogue every issue, our religious leaders are timid in the face of injustice in order to keep the peace, and we are constantly marketed to by advertisers. The truth is, there is not much light around these days. What a refreshing notion that there is a source of light/truth/illumination which is not contained by these cultural "gatekeepers"! Ours is an inheritance of light. As we disengage our awareness from our cultural conditioning and re-engage society from a place of clarity and reflection rooted in our awareness of God, God's Truth, and the possibility it engenders; we begin to reflect that light to the recesses of our world and culture. This is the proverbial "city set on a hill" spoken of by Jesus in the gospel of St. John. This is our mission. And the fruit of that mission is nothing less than a restoration to wholeness, clarity and redemption, as the First Epistle of John goes on to spell out.
Don't settle for less, because you don't have to. Step into the light of Christ and reflect it to the world. Now, I must say, in my experience, we don't often know how to recognize the light of Christ. Mostly, people are content to inflate their own narrow views into the heavens and call it the Light of Christ. The litmus test for whether or not we walk in the light is the fruit of love--a very important theme in the First Epistle of John. Hate-filled and judgmental rhetoric is not the light; rather, it is the darkness which St. John says has no part of God. Fire-breathing preachers of hate, judgmental Christians who relegate anyone different from themselves to Hell, and people who see the Church as an instrument to maintain power and control are no sharers of the light. In fact, they distract from it.
May the light and illumination of Jesus Christ transform our lives and correspondingly, our world.
|Posted by Rev. Mike Richards on March 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM||comments (0)|
Through the season of Lent, we have been emphasizing the discipline of Prayer. For many, prayer is an obligation to appease a god who will rain down misfortune upon those who neglect it. For others, prayer is a means of accessing a divine storehouse from heaven to get what we "want" out of life. In fact, each of these views is deeply impoverished and inaccurate. The power of prayer lies in its ability to transform the pray-er. Prayer is the means whereby we cultivate and enter into relationship with our Creator, or God. This being true, prayer has little to do with formulae and methods and much more to do with openness, authenticity, and genuine reflection. The end of prayer is not about compelling God to move to our position on matters--however important they may be; rather, to allow God to form in us a more intimate relationship with Godself, and as a result, with God's Will and purpose for our lives. In this way, we move to where God is and place ourselves in the center of Divine Purpose. Prayer represents and offers a life of ongoing growth and conversion. It is God's invitation and is best experienced from a place of self-honesty and authenticity. In truth, a life of prayer (employing whatever techniques work best for the practitioner) not only offers us true self-knowledge, but begins with it. To know ourselves, as we truly were created to be, is to be liberated from self-deception and is the entrance to the pathway to Communion with God. This is the fruit of prayer--this is the invitation of Lent.
Grace and Peace,