UMC district superintendent speaks at Lenten Lunch

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, April 11, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

United Methodist Church District Superintendent Allen Newton was the guest speaker for the Mt. Nebo/ Pleasant Grove UMC Lenten Lunch on April 10.

The lunches, which were open to the public regardless of church affiliation, took place each Wednesday during Lent.

“There is a word going around a lot these days — the word love,” Newton said. “We say we love each other. We say we love pizza … At the end of the day, what does that word even mean? I want to explore a passage that I think defines love.”

Newton read an excerpt from John 13, where Jesus was eating his final meal with his disciples and washed their feet because the customary servant had not been assigned the task at the house where they were eating. Newton said this was something that would have been immediately noticed, yet none of the disciples made a move to do it.

He said Jesus “humbled himself” and served his disciples by washing their feet.

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he now demonstrated for them the full extent of his love,” Newton read from John 13.

After Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, Jesus asked them if they understood what he had done.

“You call me Lord and rightfully, so for that is what I am. Now if I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet then, you should also wash one another’s feet,” Newton read. “I have given you an example that you should do as I have done.”

Newton said Jesus leaving Heaven to come to earth to die on a cross as the price for the sin of all humanity was motivated by love.

“Jesus laid aside his garment (glory) to meet the need of our sin,” Newton said.

The speaker elaborated that those who have accepted this love should show it to others through service.

“I have to confess to you that I would much rather celebrate God’s love for me than to have to follow the example that Jesus sets in this next week (Passion week ending with His death and resurrection),” Newton said. “I would much rather celebrate his cross than take up mine.”

Newton named some of the things that keep people from showing the “love of Christ,” including pride, self-centeredness, greed, jealousy and being judgmental.

“(Jesus) calls us to lay aside anything that would hinder us, so that through our lives God can reveal his eternal love among us,” Newton said.

He said Christians need to be secure in who they are as children of God in order to show this kind of love.

“You can’t serve like Jesus until you are secure like Jesus,” Newton said. “The only way that we can serve is when we understand that through Jesus Christ the Heavenly Father looked down and he saw you and he saw me and he said, ‘This is my son. This is my daughter.’”

He said this security leads to being people focused.

Newton said Jesus promised that those who followed His example in service would be blessed and have joy.