Words from Pastor Tom

Lake Lotawana Community United Methodist Church is not the building and ballfield located at the corner of East Colbern Road and South Lake Shore Drive south of Blue Springs and east of Lee's Summit, Missouri. Instead, we are all the names and faces of the congregation that brings the building and ball field to life. That is what Christian discipleship is all about. It is about living out our relationship with our risen Lord and Savior in the community and world around us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Nelson Mandela once wrote, "I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended."

Contrary to popular opinion, being a follower of Jesus Christ (a Christian, in other words) is not something done in isolation. We want to think of Christian discipleship as one, long climb we do all by ourselves, and once we get to the mountaintop, all will be well. But that's not what Jesus teaches. Our journey as his disciples is full of ups and downs. The difference between a follower of Jesus and someone who is not is that when we have to go back down into the valley to climb the next mountain, we are not alone. We pray for each other in stressful times; strive to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8); get spiritually stronger through Bible and discipleship studies; and ultimately remember who we are, and whose we are, in times of worship.

Our journey as Jesus' disciples never ends. There are more hills to climb, and that is why a trust in a God revealed in Jesus Christ and felt through the Holy Spirit is important. In church language, we call it faith. Faith then leads to hope, and hope is different than happiness. Happiness is based on things of this world. It comes and it goes as circumstances change. But our hope is anchored in the eternal life that Jesus Christ gives us as those reconciled to God, and it is faith and hope together that gets us through the dark valleys.

Come and join us on this journey!

Tom

Rev. Tom Statler, Pastor