Pastor’s Corner, March 4, 2022

Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church

There have been times in my spiritual life when it has felt like a journey through a dry and dusty wasteland. Like the Israelites who wandered in the desert for 40 years, I have longed for water that will refresh me and bring energy and life back to my weary soul.  Sadly, I have often looked to people – other pastors and leaders, to bring that water, provide that refreshment…as if they are the source and not God.  

The season of Lent calls each of us to invite the Holy Spirit to examine our lives from the inside out, to get real about who or what is our source and where we are looking for spiritual refreshment. On the outside we may look like we are being sustained by the Water of the Word (Jesus) when in fact on the inside we are struggling through a desert because our own well has gone dry. Perhaps that is why so many in the church lack energy and enthusiasm and joy for the journey. We think someone else is responsible for filling us when, in fact, we are drawing from the wrong well.

Who or what are you trying to draw life-sustaining water from? Your pastor? Your church? Yourself? What is distracting you from drawing from the true Source? Are you caught up in petty arguments, complaining about not getting your way? Have you made church all about your needs, your comfort, your preferences? Do you expect the pastor to fill you up and then leave feeling empty when they do not? Are you caught up in worldly pursuits with little or no time for being the hands and feet of Jesus in your community? 

Are you looking for Jesus to show up in your church, your workplace, your day-to-day life? Has pride or self-righteousness replaced God’s grace in your life? Have you forgotten that it is only by the blood of Jesus Christ that you have peace with God, are justified, and saved? Are you more like the Israelites always complaining and never entering God’s rest, rather than the woman at the well who said to Jesus, “Sir give me this water so I will not be thirsty…”? (John 4:15)

These are some of the hard questions we must ask ourselves during this season of Lent. God is calling us to return to the well that has life-giving water. Return to the well that will never run dry. Return to the only One who can refresh and revive our weary souls. Turn back to the One who is our abundant Source and drink deeply.  

“Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm 95:6-8a)
May God bless your Lenten journey and may you be filled to overflowing with Living Water through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Pam

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