Day 3 from GC2019 - Hearts of Stone
By: Rev'd Dr. Johnny Jeffords
Today was a rough day. I knew it would be, which didn’t make it hurt less.
Going into the last day tomorrow where things will be voted on, the likelihood is that either nothing changes or if it does, it will be the more restrictive language - neither of which is tenable.
How do you appeal to hearts of stone? Turns out, you can’t. Between a misplaced religious zealotry, a pervasive spirit of xenophobia and puppet masters who direct the action from above through texts and secure loyalty through the provision of many brib . . . I mean “gifts” (yes, I said it), the Methodist concept of Christian conferencing is a sham.
But what is emerging as a result, if it’s clear The United Methodist Church won’t live into a church for all God’s children, is that there are some of us across the connection who have and will.
As the session closed today I was needy of a word. The benediction I sometimes use to end worship rose up in my spirit. It’s framed from the words of the Liberal Lion of the 40 years ago and hero of mine, William Sloane Coffin. Maybe they’ll help you too as we discern the new thing God is doing, whether the UMC votes for it or not:
“God give you the grace never to sell yourself short -
Courage to risk something big for something good -
And to remember that the world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.”
And so it is.