Pastor Mary Ivanov
Cedar Springs United Methodist Church
140 S. Main St. • Cedar Springs, MI 49319
I’m excited that the Detroit Tigers are going to the World Series this year. I have wonderful memories of watching Tigers games with my grandma. She was a huge fan! She kept score of each game and talked back to the players on the TV. I remember watching the 1984 World Series with her. Back then, I could’ve told you every player’s name and their position. Now I only know a few; I’m more of a fair-weather fan. But I’ll be watching as the Tigers play this year!
The anticipation of the Tigers playing in the World Series prompted me to think about our faith life. Maybe you’ve heard of the book by Kyle Idleman that challenges us to be “not a fan” of Jesus Christ. Instead, the challenge is to be fully devoted and committed followers of Jesus.
So we have to consider how we think about Jesus. Do we simply admire him, or do we believe in him? Do we simply want to be more like him, or do we want to follow him and be transformed by our relationship with him?
If relationships are important to us, then they change our lives and priorities. I take time to nurture relationships that are meaningful to me. I spend time with my spouse to nurture our marriage. I spend time with my children to know what’s going on with them, to teach them, and to nurture them in faith. We have dinner as a family. I stay in touch with my parents and sisters, extended family, friends, and colleagues in ministry. It has to be intentional on my part, and there are many times when I know I haven’t taken enough time.
So what about our relationship with Christ? We have to consider how we show our faith and commitment to Christ. Do we take time to read the Bible daily? To pray? To be in worship with others in community? To serve in the name of Jesus? To offering back to God what God has asked us to give (at least 10 percent)? To witness how God is working in our lives? All of these are marks of faith commitment that show our desire to be followers of Jesus, not just fans.
The challenge is before us every day. Take the time to seek God’s will and ask for God’s help to strengthen your commitment to Christ. Talk to your pastor or a trusted friend who can help you to get connected or reconnected to a church where you can find encouragement and support to grow in faith.
If you don’t have a church home or have been away for a while, consider getting back to church or trying it out for the first time. I invite you to worship with us this Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. We share the love and hope of Jesus Christ!