First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Saturday, May 08, 2021
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor

Rev. Rebecca Voss




Dear First Family of Faith,

After deciding to hit the “pause” button on our re-opening for a week and adding a reservation system to our 10am service, the reality of going back to worship in person is coming in to focus. This has been a very long and hard season apart, but there are gifts that we have been given. If we choose to accept the grace of this challenge, we have the potential to be transformed. That means we have to rethink what it means to “go back”.

The familiar ways of life are reassuring and give us a sense of stability. But there are a few questions and assumptions I’ve been contemplating as the Holy Spirit continues to teach and guide me. Here they are, and I invite you to reflect on them with me:

Is our sense of security coming from our customs or from Christ?

Traditions and habits are important and can give us a smooth and predictable path to walk on. However, there will inevitably be times in life when the road is rough and unpredictable. Grief, loss of a job or health, or any significant changes that are out of our control have affected most of us at various times. Even amazing opportunities that come our way tend to challenge our sense of security. As followers of Jesus, can we say, “I feel outside of my element, but I’m learning to rely on Christ in- stead of my customs”?

Am I thinking more of “we” and less of “me”?
Our culture of “rugged individualism” has had many weaknesses exposed over the past year. While personal rights are important, a fatal flaw in American culture is that we generally think of “me” far more than “we”. This has literally killed hundreds of thousands of people in our country and prolonged a pandemic (as well as other chronic problems). I suspect we’re going to keep suffering until Christ’s people start thinking and acting as we were made to – as a Body with Christ as the head, working together to bring healing to the world.

Are we ready for whatever comes next?
We may think everything is working well enough as is (or prefer that God changes everyone but us). However, the Holy Spirit’s job is transforming us and everyone around us. We should expect the unexpected, knowing that God is still creating and re-creating. It will go so much better when we fully offer ourselves to God rather than resist God.

Christians sometimes think that faith will prevent changes or challenges. Instead, I hope that as we move forward we’ll ask God to give us – together – the faith we need to find our security in Christ as the Holy Spirit transforms us for all that God wants to do in and through us.

Together in Christ, Pastor Rebecca
March 2021