A couple weeks ago found the conclusion of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, FL. I was not there this year (but 4 years from now...watch out...I'm coming GC) however I followed it on Twitter and Facebook and watched the live stream a bit. June 7th starts the Indiana Annual Conference and about a week before is the 2nd installment of #DreamUMC - a group of United Methodists having a twitter chat on the future - on our dreams.
It begs the question - why dream? That's how change is made. Change doesn't come from sitting around and doing crossword puzzles. Thomas Edison dreamed of a world without candles for light. Henry Ford dreamed of a world where everyone owned a car. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dreamed of a world where everyone owned a computer. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a world where all people were free. Dreams are an important part of who we are - dreams change history. I'm not saying that all of us have the same thoughts - but we have the same dream: we want to see change.
Change. That's a hard word to say - because sometimes that means things we don't want. But Christ tells us that he did not come to bring peace:
Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, I have come instead to bring division. - Luke 12:51, Common English Bible
Following Christ does not mean that we will be without hardship. The Luke passage goes on to say that fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and sibling against sibling - will be divided. That's hard to think about - isn't it? But I see it even now - division over theological issues - division over psychological issues - division over sexual issues.
It makes me ask the question why dream? Why dream of unity? Why dream of a place where we can come together under the umbrella of Christ? Because that's heaven - I want to see it - here on earth - if only for a second.
That's where grace comes in. We need the grace of God to go before us - to intercede on our behalf.
So, I'd like to ask a favor. As we approach Pentecost and the 2nd installment of #DreamUMC - pray for the church - not just The United Methodist Church but all churches - every denomination. Pray for unity - bind us together.
Almighty God,to you all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The Opening Prayer, A Service of Word and Table, The UM Book of Worship pg 33)