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When words don’t come

Mark Buford, Director of Communications

Sometimes, the words just don’t come.

That’s a problem when it’s your turn to share a reflection.

And that’s when I’m reminded that listening is just as important as sharing.

So I listened.

Or more accurately, I read. 

Colossians 3:1-11, to be precise.

One of the scriptures for this Sunday’s worship service at First United Methodist Garland.

And it was the last few words that caught my attention … Christ is all in all

This reminds me of a song I used to sing back in my praise band days – You Are My All in All.

(Nichole Nordeman sings it far better!) 

You are my strength
when I am weak,
You are the treasure
that I seek,
You are my all in all.


In these times of inflation and poverty and hunger and racism and political bickering and COVID and monkeypox and on and on and on, I am weak. 

When I fall down
You pick me up, 
When I am dry
You fill my cup, 
You are my all in all. 


Thankfully, I have a Savior who loves and watches over me to help me cope. 

Jesus, Lamb of God, 
Worthy is your name. 
Jesus, Lamb of God, 
Worthy is your name. 


Amen. 

What you think will happen

Josh Medlock, Director of Student Ministries

Have you ever played golf? See if this sounds familiar:

The pin is only 94 yards away.

You grab your pitching wedge.

Looking at the green, you line up your shot and step up to the ball.

As you settle in for the shot, you take a deep breath.

You transfer your weight slightly to your front foot as you begin your swing.

CRACK!!

You hit the ball and it flies in an almost prefect arc.

As it approaches the green you hold your breath.

The ball hits the green, takes two bounces and drops right into the cup for that elusive eagle! 

That’s what the mind creates as the perfect shot.

That’s what we convince ourselves will happen. We really do think it will happen that way.

What really happens is more like this. 

You are 94 yards away from the pin.

You grab your 9 iron because you know you probably aren’t going to make it there today with your pitching wedge. 

You line up the shot and swing.

Maybe you hit the ball. If you do, you probably hit it wrong.

it sails way left or way right and bounces off three or four trees before landing somewhere you’ll never find it. 
 
What we think will happen versus what actually happens. I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.

It’s interesting though that when it comes to other people or other things I can usually predict what will happen.

It usually turns out not too far off what actually happens.

But when it comes to me and things I do, it often turns out differently that what I expected. 
 
I started thinking about the ministry of Jesus, and how people who witnessed the miracles or heard him explain things most likely had no idea what was happening.

Whatever they thought was going to happen, Jesus usually did it differently.

Whatever the expectation, it usually happened in a very unexpected way.

I love that about Jesus. I love that his ministry was never what was expected.

For me, that’s one of the reasons why his ministry was so powerful, and continues to amaze me today.
 
Perhaps one of the reasons people aren’t hearing our message of love and grace as well as they should is because we aren’t allowing ourselves to be surprised.

Maybe we should indulge a little in what we think CAN happen and get excited again.

I love talking to people who are excited about things.

Even if I don’t understand or don’t agree with whatever they are excited about, I still love the fact that they are excited.
 
Jesus crafted his responses to those who doubted in a way that was unexpected, and performed miracles that often turned out completely different than the way people thought they would.
 
I hope and pray that you are surprised this week, and that your relationship with Jesus gives you a sense of excitement.

Maybe this week things can turn out the way we think they will.

But won’t it be incredible if they don’t?