Reset and Rejoice

This Sunday during the 8am service we have the wonderful opportunity to worship with our global partners at Samara UMC in Samara, Russia. Hyde Park Community UMC has had a long partnership with them.  A number of teams from HPC have gone to visit and serve alongside of them over the years. 

Over the course of our partnership many things have changed, politically in both countries and within the United Methodist Church. The one thing that has not changed, however, is the faith that connects us.  We all serve the same God, knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord, and seeking to live in peace and transform the world through God’s grace and loving kindness.  

This is cause for rejoicing. The line from the song comes to mind, “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, and we pray that all unity may one day be restored…And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

As Jeff Sheldon reminded us during the announcements last Sunday, while the church in Samara appreciates the support we offer them in various ways, one of the most significant ways we can support them is spiritually. We can pray with and for them, we can remember our unity in Jesus Christ, and we can worship together over the many miles through the gift of technology. 

This week, in our final Sunday of our Reset and Resist series, we consider what it means to Reset and Rejoice.  In doing so, we return to our baptismal vows. Through the waters of our baptism we become one in Jesus Christ our Lord. We still have differences and challenges but we approach them differently, not as we would with someone who is separate from us, but as we would with someone who is a part of us, seeking to learn, understand, and hold in tension our love and our differences.    

As Paul writes in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew now Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  

And as we say together each time someone is baptized, “Through baptism you are incorporated by the Holy Spirit into God’s new creation and made to share in Christ’s royal priesthood.  We are all one in Christ Jesus.  With joy and thanksgiving we welcome you as members of the family of Christ.”  

Unity, whether in the world, the church, our country, our family, or even within our own minds often seems out of reach.  But when we understand that it does not mean uniformity and when we know that we are one in the love and grace of Jesus, it opens us up to new ways of thinking and relating to each other that allow us to reset in God’s grace and to rejoice in God’s love.  


Pastor Suzanne

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment