Saturday morning worship included a quiz on formulas. Rev. Kris Mutzenberger Fargo First UMC, challenged attendees at the twenty-fifth session of the Dakotas Annual Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to take a look at various formulas in life.
“Formulas are everywhere in our world,” stated Pastor Kris. “Our scripture is full of formulas. Formulas for what it means to live and be in community. Formulas for what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Mutzenberger told those in attendance that the scriptures are formulas that are written to show us the way. Hebrews 12:1-3 is a message or essay persuading their audience that Jesus is the best.
Therefore, since such a great cloud of witnesses surrounds us let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-3
“The formula looks easy, but it isn’t. Sometimes sin creeps in and catches us. Sin easily entangles. There are deeply rooted sins that catch us—racism, sexism, narcissism. We often turn a blind eye to sin. It is easier to do so. We need to give up the sins that entangle us. That is the first part of the formula," said Mutzenberger.
Perseverance is the second part of the formula in Hebrews. Pastor Kris told worshippers, “We need to be stubborn in our faith. We need to push through.” Preservere no matter the consequences. Hold on tight to your faith.
Fixing eyes on Jesus is the third part of the formula. The primary focus is Jesus. Mutzenberger told those present, “Hold that banner high. Look to life and resurrection of Jesus first and foremost. Do I do this all the time? Sometimes I don’t fix my eyes on Christ.”
Pastor Kris shared the story of her grandmother's diagnosis with brain cancer as an example. Instead of concentrating on the illness her grandmother shared, “At some point, things are going to fall apart, but we just need to keep on praising the Lord.”
The United Methodist Church is facing challenges as the 2019 General Conference approaches. Pastor Kris shared, “We have to name the struggle and entanglement. We need to persevere, fix our eyes on Jesus. So that, we will not grow weary and lose heart. The church needs us. God needs us. Let’s get to work on the formula.”
Watch the entire service here.