OHIO VALLEY DISTRICT
My how things change! It seems that many things we count on to be solid, stable, and regular are in a state of flux. In the wide world we see the United States slowly falling back from the position of world leader. In our nation we are watching our political leaders falling from a place of respect to a place of disgust. That is a general statement about politicians of all parties on the national level. We are watching the once honored place of Christian Churches fall to a place of irrelevancy. Add to these general cultural changes the annual moves of pastors in the Ohio Valley District, and one begins to wonder if anything remains the same. I can see many changes in the Ohio Valley that have occurred in the short seven years we have been away. Few things remain the same. And there is only One Constant.
A constant for us is the love Jesus Christ has for us, and all people everywhere. Paul teaches us that love never fails, and never ends. (1Cor. 13:8a) He also teaches us that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Jesus Christ. (Rom. 8:39) Love is one of Paul’s great themes and can be found throughout his writings. If the issue is transition, Paul points to love. If the issue is theology, Paul points to love. If the issue is conflict, Paul points to love. In 2Corinthians Paul is addressing great conflict. The congregation is divided by a number of issues. Paul addresses them all directly, giving instruction. But his appeal for following his teaching is not based upon the logic or correctness of his positions. His appeal is to love. He writes, “Open wide your hearts.” (2Cor. 6:11-13)
In a time of transition and conflict, it is best for us all to open wide our hearts to the love of God. It is best for us to open wide our hearts to one another. Let us follow the way of Jesus by excelling in how we love one another. In the two and half verses before Paul calls for open hearts, he lists seven pairs of thought about Christian ministry and ministers. “We are treated as imposters, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see- we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” I see the Ohio Valley as the second half of these seven pairs. We are true, well known, alive, not killed, rejoicing, making many rich, and have everything!
Ohio Valley District Office:
Rev. Bruce Hitchcock
352 Canton Rd.
Wintersville, OH 43953
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Summer Hours beginning June 21
Monday thru Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m
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