Mission: to Amplify Compassion by amplifying marginalized voices in our community, including those marginalized by their race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or any others searching for equity. We will help challenge our congregation to amplify justice, mercy, and humility to create a more compassionate church.
Reflection – by Pastor Cade
“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:21
The third chapter of John's gospel begins with Nicodemus, a pharisee, coming to Jesus in the night searching for answers to many questions. Even though Nicodemus is a learned man, Jesus explains to him that intellectually knowing is not enough, that we must be reborn in spirit. This chapter contains one of the most quoted verses of scripture, John 3:16, but it continues with Jesus talking about light and darkness in the world. Jesus states those who do evil hate the light, and they do not come to the light because their deeds may be exposed. In verse 21, Jesus concludes by saying those who do what is true come to the light to clearly see their deeds have been done in God.
One of the themes for our Lenten study this year is “Surrender.” Do I want to be part of the light? If so, I have to be willing to have God shine his light on me, and that makes me uncomfortable. I know I’m not worthy, but I also know that isn’t a requirement for God. And reading Jesus’ teachings, just knowing that isn’t enough; I have to feel it. Surrendering means I need to be open to realizing my failures and short-comings and admitting that maybe I haven’t always been understanding. I’ve been thinking a lot about this the past couple of months while reading the books being discussed by the Amplify book club. I’m trying to understand the life experiences of others that differ so much from mine. Have my actions or inaction contributed to hurting others? Have I been willing to stand for what is right even though others might not positively look at me?
I find verse 21 both challenging and hopeful. I have fallen short in the past, and I will fall short in the future, but if I’m willing to listen to Jesus’ teaching and God’s voice, I can do what is right, and I can help others. I can work for justice. I can stand up instead of remaining in the background when challenged. And when I do, I can take comfort and be confident, knowing it’s God’s light working through me.
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Join A Tu Lado - a ministry opportunity through the Migrant Assistance Project in which houses of faith partner with an immigrant family and walk with them on their journey through the immigration process in the U.S. If you are interested in joining an A Tu Lado team at Dilworth UMC please reach out to Pastor Cade for more information.
Join the Amplify Book Club. The next title we will be reading together is “Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S.” by Lenny Duncan. Click Here to purchase a copy of the book, and please reach out to Pastor Cade to express interest in being part of this study.
Are you interested in sharing a reflection in the Amplify newsletter? If you feel called to share a story, testimony, or devotion related to diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation, please reach out to Pastor Cade. The Amplify Team is open to all members who feel passionate about shaping our conversation and working for justice in and through Dilworth UMC. Please contact Pastor Cade to become a part of this important ministry.