First Presbyterian Church of Merrillville
Friday, June 23, 2017
Go and Make Disciples!
 

     No one comes to God alone. We are surrounded by the faithful of every time and place. The words and the songs of faith have been given to each of us. Their message is proclaimed through us. It is not our own. It belongs to the great congregation. My words and deeds may seem faint and stumbling. Their words and deeds are booming and graceful. The revelation that they have given me proclaims a God of love and compassion. Their witness informs and directs my life. I believe because of the saints and I am honored to be in their number. It is a privilege to serve the Church. They have loved and served and by ordination they have given me a joyful burden.

    I believe in the Creator of all things who in great mystery, delights in the created universe. All life depends upon the one who made heaven and earth. Each breath we take is a gift of life. Yet, humanity has in too many ways neglected to care for the earth that God created in love. We tend to forget our intimate connection with the creation. Each person must begin to protect, cherish and if possible restore the earth. As a creature, I affirm that every living thing is a gift. Each person is loved by Abba God, so I must practice the ways of justice and respect.

    I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who in his life, teachings, death and resurrection revealed the Creator's love. Salvation is created. I first learned of Jesus through the life and witness of my mother. Her faith informs my life. She told me the stories of Jesus that I so loved to hear. She brought me to the font and to the table. Through the scriptures, Christ calls us to discipleship. Our lives must be informed by his teaching and example. Christ broke down the walls that divide and imprison us. To be his disciple, one must practice profound respect for all people. Racism, sexism, even cultural differences have no place.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, who continues to guide and direct the faithful into all truth. This same spirit directed Abram to begin a journey. The spirit has spoken through the faithful of every time and place and God's spirit continues to nudge or compel each of us along a pilgrimage of faith all are called to service, all are called to a life dedicated to God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

    God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.

    This redemption is the salvation story told by both Hebrew and Christian. This is the story and message we must share with the world. We were created, redeemed and commissioned in love. The signs and symbols of faith have informed my life. I stand in mystery and in joy as I participate in the journey and experience the great drama that the creator has given us.

-William Long Hudson