Monday, February 4, 2008

Perfect Love Casts out Fear

Got back from Israel and then is was off to Trinity At The Beach, our church's annual retreat. Enjoyed the time there with folks, the good weather, and the reflections brought by Rev. Lane Glaze. One aspect of the retreat that people always enjoy are the small group sharing times. Usually after every presentation we break up into small groups to discuss how the message applies to our lives.

In talking about the retreat experience with those who attend, usually they mention the sharing as a wonderful part of the retreat. I once thought we just needed to provide more time for that in church, but I think getting away to a new location, and with a different schedule, is an important part of the experience. We've tried to capture the experience by using small group reflection in our Mosaic worship. But that hasn't caught on as well. So we've yet to figure out what it is that connects with people's needs, helping them to engage the Word.

Rev. Glaze is the Campus Minister for the Clemson Wesley Foundation, and is associate pastor at Clemson UMC. He did a good job leading us on the theme: Life in the Spirit, It's Not Just Another Thing To Do. One of the things that stood out for me was his remark about the young ruler who came to Jesus at night wanting to know what to do to be saved. Jesus told him to sell all he had and come follow him, and the young man went away sorrowful. Lane said the reason the young man went away was not greed, but fear. He was afraid of what might lie ahead in the journey.

That kind of fear in following Christ is something that affects nearly everyone. Just what will God ask of me if I say yes? It's like a marriage. You don't know what's ahead, you just know you don't want to go forward without the other person. When you get to the point where you don't want to go forward in life without being with Christ, then you don't count the cost, you just give your all. Perfect (complete) love casts out fear.