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A Reason for Hope

In his book, Humbler Faith, Bigger God, Samuel Wells writes, “There are plenty of reasons not to be a Christian, and yet I am one.” As Gretna UMC continues to explore what it means to truly live our church’s core values of honor, compassion, faith, engagement, and unity, we might also confess that there are plenty of reasons to ignore these values — especially when we feel challenged, or questioned, or ignored.

Yet, as Christians who strive to follow the life and teachings of Jesus, we find his path was constantly filled with challenges, questions, and reasons why he should be ignored and/or dismissed. Think about it: even for those of us who claim to be Christian, there are so many great reasons not to go to church, or not to follow Jesus’ example of honor, compassion, faith, engagement, or unity.

So, how are we to counter these reasons? Wells goes on to suggest that we are not to ignore or dismiss the reasons but to work our way through them until we are able to claim our own convictions, get honest about where we’ve gotten it wrong, and seek

“a renewed, gentler, yet even more dynamic faith.”

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you

to give the reason for the hope that you have.

But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…"

--1 Peter 3:15-16

That sounds reasonable.

Pastor Jo

August 23, 2022

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