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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Barebones Message of Christianity

First United Methodist Church
Lakeland, FL
The barebones message of Christianity is fairly simple in the end—worship God and love your neighbor as yourself.  Add to this that Jesus is our example and redeemer and sent the Holy Spirit to guide us in daily living and you have pretty much described the weightier part of the Gospel.  The church puts living flesh on this barebones message.  It is a wonderful fact that the complex organization and vitality of the church derives from such simplicity and sparseness.  I will never forget attending the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and being impressed by the extent and vitality of the organization.  If I were to take one moment that encapsulates the magnitude I sensed at these conferences, it would be when an organist played Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d Minor on an impressive pipe organ as an introduction to a bustling session.  I have come to appreciate this strong signification of the church as it must operate at times in a contrarian position to the world’s countering message of selfishness, pride, and self-sufficiency.  The church will have its voice no matter what other voices strive to propagate.

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