From the desk of Bishop Mark J Webb: Living Boldly
July 24, 2018 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Advocate, which shared stories on individuals and churches throughout the Upper New York Conference that are boldly living their call.
Sarah, Abraham, Miriam, Moses, Sarah, Ruth, Joshua, David, Esther, Hannah, Solomon, Jeremiah, Peter, John, Mary Magdalene, and Paul. What do these individuals all have in common? What do their lives offer to ours?
These women and men are examples of individuals who placed their faith and trust in God and boldly lived the call of God within their lives. A call that led them into places and situations they would not have otherwise gone. A call that equipped them with gifts that were used to invite others into a choice of faith in God. A call that catapulted them into society and then through God’s power and grace they became agents of deep change and transformation.
As United Methodists in Upper New York, we are called just as these men and women of the past were called. We are called to boldly live our identity as followers of Jesus Christ, to be shaped by who Jesus is, and offer with urgency and passion the truth of God through Jesus Christ to the world around us. We continue to remind ourselves that our purpose is clear. We are called to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” We live out this calling by trusting Jesus who promises to produce transformation – individually, corporately, and systematically.
Jesus came to serve – to offer light, truth, hope, peace, forgiveness, and life. He met sinners where they were and called them to sin no more. He touched the untouchable and loved the unlovable. He challenged the status quo of society and the Church with a call to righteousness, holiness, justice, and mercy. He depended upon the power of God’s Spirit always and in all things!
Our opportunity is the same! The call as followers of Jesus Christ - as the Church of Jesus Christ - is to choose the way of Jesus! To die to self so that He may live – to decrease so that He may increase. To set aside our agendas, our desires, our solutions, so that we may lose our life to be found in the life and the way of Jesus Christ. Like those who have come before us, we must boldly live our call!
We have much to celebrate as the Church of Jesus Christ in Upper New York. We are living the mission and striving for the fulfillment of our vision. Have we fallen short at times – of course. Have we missed the mark of being all that God desires us to be – absolutely. But God has called us. God is enough.
Because of God we are enough and have everything we need for the journey! Jesus is the way and we are invited to follow that way! We are invited to believe and to proclaim that truth to others. We must boldly live our call!
I hope you will take some time to look through the pages of this edition of the Advocate! Be inspired, challenged, convicted, and encouraged by the way brothers and sisters in Christ are boldly living the call!