Jonathan's Perspective  

Jan 22

'Faith and Service'

Faith and service go together like peanut butter and peanut butter. They aren’t different things like peanut butter and jelly. They are the same thing. I’ve always been challenged by James’ words, ‘What good is it, brothers and sisters, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him?... Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.’(James 2:14, 18) Faith is not only something private and internal, but outward and social as well. Inward faith will have outward actions. It will impact all of our relationships. I once heard a story about a man who was in Amish country in Indiana. He went up to an Amish farmer and asked, ‘Are you a Christian?’ The Amish man gave a profound response, ‘I don’t know. Ask my neighbor.’ How do your beliefs translate into actions of loving your neighbor? If someone asked your coworker if you were a Christian, what would he or she say? If someone asked your spouse or kids if you were a Christian, what would they say? We are called to live an integrated life in the Lord with our outer actions matching our inner convictions. 

Serving is in the Methodist DNA. John Wesley said, ‘There is no holiness but social holiness.’ He understood the organic way our faith naturally translates into action. John Wesley fasted twice a week to have money to give to the poor. He humbled himself and collected alms to help feed and clothe those in the debtor’s prisons. The early Methodists started the first free pharmacies to tend to the sick. They started Sunday School which was the first free public education available to the working family. Our own Susie May Munholland ministered at the Mary Wrein Mission near the cotton mills in the Irish Channel teaching classes to young mothers and serving meals. She was instrumental in founding Munholland so that there would be a Methodist church to serve the Metairie area. Munholland UMC continues raising up children, youth, and adults who serve in the local community.

If anyone asked about the faith of our church, I trust they would see our faith in action. I am very proud to be a part of this body of believers. As my dad used to tell me at the end of every conversation, ‘Keep up the good work.’ May our light so shine that people will see our good deeds and give praise to our Father in heaven. (Matt 5:16)

Blessed to be a blessing,

Jonathan

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