PASTOR’S PEN
 

Is one hundred years a long time?

Is one hundred years a long time? It depends on what we are talking about. Geologically, it is not even a drop in the bucket. A person living one hundred years is a very long time. What about social change? As I write this, I am aware that today is the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
 
I was ordained a Deacon in the United Methodist Church in 1981. About half the ordinands that year were female. But many churches at that time did not want a woman pastor. My clergy sisters had a hard time gaining acceptance. Last semester, Karla wrote a paper on the ordination of women in the Methodist Church and the early trail blazers. 1880 Anna Howard Shaw was one of the first women ordained. She was also quite a leader in the suffrage movement. However, women were not given the full privileges of ordination until 1956. There was much struggle along the way. 
 
This week, the first Afro/Asian American woman will be nominated  for the Democratic party ticket to serve as Vice-President of the United States of America. This will be the fourth time in the history of the United States that a woman has been on the ticket. The last one of course being four years ago when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. 
 
Be ready for some sexist comments like “nasty woman.” It seems like we should be past this on the 100th anniversary of the woman’s right to vote. But these attitudes are insidious. Makes me think of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the movement for LGBTQ rights. 
 
Change takes time and we get impatient, as we should. But some things don’t change in a lifetime. United Methodists should always be taking the lead for equal rights for all people, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. 
 
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There  
is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for all are one in Christ Jesus.  (Galatians 3: 26 – 28)
 
Shalom my friends,
 
Pastor Steve


“… as you tested him at Massah.”

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.” (Deuteronomy 6:16) Massah is a word that means “test” and it was given that name because this was the place where the Hebrew people complained about a lack of water. Jesus quoted that verse of scripture when he was being tempted in the wilderness by the devil to prove his divine nature. He resisted this temptation by quoting this verse: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
 
I have to tell you that I have been absolutely disgusted by the behavior of some pastors and churches during this pandemic. Seeing buildings full of worshipers without masks and to hear pastors arrogantly claiming divine protection is just foolish and stupid. It makes me embarrassed for the Church and as a person of faith. You have to wonder why those who claim to know the Bible so well don’t know this one: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
 
I miss being in worship with you — but we will not test God or fate or luck. I hope you are joining us online. It is not the same but it is a meaningful time for many. My scripture verse that I come back to time and again comes from Micah: “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”
 
Steve
 



Pastor Steve Lundin