Trinity United Methodist Charge
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Message from Pastor Sam

 “It Is Our Problem”
     The rich young ruler asked Jesus “What must I do to inherit Eternal Life?”  Jesus said, sell all you have and give to the poor; the young man went away sorrowful.  Luke 18:22-23 (Paraphrased.)

     I have to say in the last few months, my eyes have been opened to a plague in our world.  This plague is one that is destroying our society.  The plague is the “Elephant” in many Communities, Families, and even Churches.  It is the Opioid Crisis.  I use the verse above because while we pretend to be righteous, we, just like the rich young ruler, act as if we are being the church, but when we are called to make a commitment, we go away sorrowful.

      Church, it is our problem and I believe and know that it affects every single one of us.  I have used the story about by granddaughter, Lilliana.  If you know her, she is an energetic first-grader.  She lives is a loving home and has a good life.  Sounds great doesn’t it?  But this problem, the Opioid Crisis, even affects children like her.  Why would I say there is no drug problem or use in her home when she has told me repeatably about a class mate who lives with grandparents because her dad is in jail and her mom is not in the picture.

     Again, Church, I say to you the “Opioid Crisis” is our problem.  It is proven that it cannot be fixed by legislation or prison sentences.  Why not you may say?  Simply because it takes love, understanding, grace and compassion.  People who are addicted or in the recovery process are indeed broken, but so are you and I.  Maybe their cracks are a little more visible, but they are precious children of God too.  Jesus did not come for the religious of the world but for those in need of saving Grace.

     I believe one on the greatest misconceptions in the opioid crisis is thinking it only affects those directly connected to it.  There is nothing further from the truth.  At this point, it affects every person in our nation, our state, our community and our church.  If for no other reason than the health care industry, the opioid crisis affects you.

     I realize this is not your normal pastoral letter, but at this stage in my life it is something very close to my heart.  We simply cannot be like the rich young ruler and go away disappointed.  This problem is too big for us to ignore.  It is time to be the Church and allow the Disciple making process to become who we are.  Let us go and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Blessings,
 

Pastor Sam