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Where we find ourselves: The United Methodist Church, Part 6: Final installment… (I think…)

So, to be honest, I have ran out of words. The amount of grief, words, speculation, and such has taken on a life of its own. I want to wrap this series of thoughts up with what follows - this is all that I have left.

I keep coming back to this basic thought: What is at stake? Why does this decision really matter? And who wants division, fighting, anger? Does God want this, or could it be other forces? The devil, the world, and the brokenness of people (ie the flesh)? You see there is damage being done in wanting to make sure that damage is not done... Again, how much of this is just a smoke screen to get us looking in all the wrong places while the real purpose of the church is being missed?

It is madness at so many levels. And the churches are being distracted from the centrality and realization of the mission. So, long story short - this passage is where I keep coming back to as I sort through where I am/what I think/what I see:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. —Matthew 7:1–6

Here is what I will say:

The church, the people, including, me, myself and I - have a logs in our own eye. IT is true. There are things that we need to repent of. Listen, revival breaks out when repentance is present. No repentance, no renewal. The first step as we start making judgements is examine our own lives and our sins. WE must start there.

To start with others first, well, it is getting the cart before the horse.

AND in Jesus teaching, there is something that others need to deal with. It is not denying others around us, have things also. Things that keep them from seeing clearly.

So we all have things in our eyes that keep us from seeing correctly. And we all need help.

We all must start with our own lives. The biggest realization that has come to me as I have wrestled with all of this is this — I have found places in my own heart that has/does need work, repentance, God’s grace and mercy.

I think I will just stay there. I know all that what I can do is to be faithful to what I see and hear from God.

I will find peace in holding on to what God has asked me to hold onto.

I will find peace in releasing things that God wants me to release.

I find the most peace in this reality:

I am loved and called

I am called and loved

In that order.

I want those that are loved and called to find peace in their decisions as they move forward.

God is willing, wanting and able to bring us all that reality of His peace. That is my prayer for you if you have read this today.

Grace and Truth,

Kevin A. Parido

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