It's January 13; Good Morning Union

Welcome back, or welcome for the first time if you are just joining the UC family! Break was great, but seeing you all again will be even greater! A clean slate, for those who need it, and a continuation of good things for those who learned more last semester about time management and the discipline of setting priorities. I do pray that this semester will grow you even more- closer to God and to your goal of preparing to invest your gifts in the calling that He has/will give you. If you are new to Union then just a little explanation of this email. It’s called Good Morning Union (GMU) and each morning I, as your chaplain, get up and ask God to give me something to share with you that might encourage (or challenge) you in your journey with Jesus. Hopefully you don’t need my help because you have your own vibrant and healthy connection with God, but just in case you’re like the rest of us, a little support doesn’t hurt! They’re just my musings in God’s word each morning so I hope they will be a blessing to you. If you don’t need the help then at least read the PSs at the end because they contain the current news of what’s happening for you from Campus Ministries. So have a great semester and stop by and see me if you have a chance! J

So here it is! GMU!

“It’s time to grow up, people! It’s time to stop rehashing the basic truths about Christ. It’s time to leave behind the elementary teachings of just being sorry for our sins, realizing that we can’t earn salvation, and placing our faith in God, and to move on to the things of deep spiritual significance. It’s time to bask in the spiritual maturity that comes from diving headlong into the advanced courses of God.” ~Hebrews 6:1 (Randy Reed Paraphrased Version)

This quarter’s Sabbath School lessons are about Discipleship so I thought I would focus on that theme, for a while at least, in GMU. My text for today came from a friend of mine who is doing his own paraphrasing of the Bible. It just reminded me of the pendulum theory that I have observed over the years in my spiritual life and community. From obedience to grace, as if it has to be one or the other! When my brother and I had our final conversation before his death and he had concluded that “there just has to be a God because I can’t make sense out of everything without Him,” his immediate question then was, “so now what?” He grasped the beginning and was ready to use that assurance to take the next step. He never got the next step, and he didn’t have to to have all the assurance and confidence that he could “complete the journey” after Jesus comes. But if he had had that opportunity, what would the next step have been?

Discipleship, as I see it, is the conscious act of learning how to follow Jesus and then choosing to actually do it. Randy’s paraphrased verse for today suggests  that, as crucial as “Jesus love me this I know,” is, there is probably more that I can develop into as I live day by day in that assurance. Not neglecting the message of that song, I ask the question, “so now what?” Now that I know He loves me what do I do with that love? What changes in my life because of that love? What difference does that love make in my choices? My attitudes? My priorities, focus, behaviors, and responses to others?

That is what I want to focus on this semester. I want all of us to be disciples of Jesus, followers of the Master, developing and growing in our connection with Him BECAUSE, “He loves us, this we know!” So we as we begin a new semester, let’s begin a new commitment to building our lives around following the Master and being His disciples.

Have a great day following Jesus with your life,

Pasto Rich

Quote for the day: “There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four." ~ Irish Evangelist Gypsy Smith.

PS “Real Talk” with Tobias Watson and friends. Join them @ 8pm in the Rees Hall rec room for an hour of open talk about real issues facing young adults today. Guys have to check in at the front desk and be escorted down!!