Connected to the World
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. In the same way,
let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God in heaven.”
–Matthew 5:14, 16
We continued in worship this past weekend with our September focus of who we are as people called United Methodist. Our focus was on how we are a connect community of people making a difference in the world.
When I was visiting the hospitals recently, I entered the parking ramp and took the ticket from the machine in order for the gate to lift. As I was driving slowly through the ramp searching for a parking place, the words on the parking ramp ticket caught my eye. At the top of the ticket it had words of encouragement that read, “Know how much YOU MATTER to this world.”
Scripture reminds us that we are the “light of the world” and that we are to let our light shine through our good works so that others will know and give glory to God. One of the ways United Methodists are a connected people is through our giving. As local churches, we pool our financial resources in the giving of our Apportionments, which means, ‘A portion meant for others.’ This type of Connectional giving is not something we simple ‘do,’ but rather something that reflects who we are as United Methodists.
John Wesley considered giving an integral part of Christian discipleship. For Wesley, no one was exempt from the commandment to love God and neighbor and giving was an expression of that love. Giving for Wesley was a means of expressing generosity rooted in gratitude for God’s generosity. He was convinced that if the Methodists would give all they can, then all would have enough.
Our Connectional giving supports missions and ministries such as providing safe, comfortable housing for those in need; support and aid to abused women and children; meals and clothing for those in need; rebuilding help for those devastated by natural disasters; basic medical care provided to children in need; books and school supplies to children living below the poverty line; camping and retreat experiences for children, youth and special needs individuals; and support for campus ministries.
All the ways we are connectional as United Methodist Christians is an opportunity to show the love of God to others in ways that let our light shine. Together we do more than we could ever dream of doing alone, which shows how much we matter to this world.