We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

If You Could Ask God One Question, What Would It Be?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of preparation the church observes in anticipation of Easter. The season is called Lent. It is a season of 40 days, not including Sundays, that invites those that will to commit to a time of deep reflection and spiritual practice, concluding we believe in a joyous and triumphant celebration of God’s work in us at Easter. In our Christian tradition, the season of Lent it is often a time of denying of ourselves, the giving up of certain things, or of taking on things, or challenging ourselves by the taking on of things like the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting and the commitment to study the scriptures more faithfully and intentionally. On Ash Wednesday, we begin this journey toward Easter with a somber, meditative service of worship in which I take ashes, make the sign of the cross on the forehead of the parishioner, and tell them they are going to die: ”Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” and/or “ Repent, and believe the Gospel.” Those words are also spoken to me. We are not really comfortable thinking about our own death, and therefore there is often this awkwardness I feel on this night. The awkwardness comes from my own struggles with death and dying, and often is written on the face of the person as I draw this sign of death on them, the sign of the cross.

This year, I am feeling a deep sense of dis-ease. I am increasingly aware that many of the Church’s typical responses to life’s challenges, (i.e. the reality of death, the questions of good and evil), can be unsatisfactory. This year, I feel a profound uneasiness with church doing “business as usual” and “just going through the motions.” Cliché’ and pithy answers aren’t doing it for me. I’m looking and seeking for something deeper, and I think those around me are as well. I’m committing myself to going deeper, to wrestling with some of the more difficult questions that are asked of our faith, and not settling for the pat answer.

And so, what about you? Are you willing to ask and grapple with some tough questions in the weeks ahead? Here is what I’m asking the folks in my church to do: “If you could ask God one thing, what would it be?” I would welcome your question. Send it to me in a way that is comfortable for you. The folks at Huntersville UMC are going to be given the opportunity to write their question of God on a puzzle piece to be fit with lots of other pieces to form a large puzzle. I’m going to incorporate the questions into sermons and blogs over the next few weeks. I fully understand that I AM NOT GOD and won’t be able to begin to search the depths and magnitude of God’s mysteries. But, I have faith that if we ask and are willing to journey with God and the community of faith in the spiritual disciplines as described above, God is willing and able to speak into our hearts and minds answers that prove satisfactory. It will be the journey and process of grappling that deepens our trust and reliance on God.

I hope you have a holy Lent and I look forward to hearing from you.