St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
 

 

         From the Sr. Associate Pastor’s

 

The Impact of the Leader

In September of 1862, the Civil War tilted decisively in favor of the South. The morale of the Northern army had dipped to its lowest point of the war. Large numbers of Union troops were in full retreat in Virginia. Northern leaders began to fear the worst. They could see no answer to turning the beaten, exhausted troops into an army again.

There was only one general with this kind of leadership. General George McClellan had trained these troops for combat and they loved him. The war Department of the president’s Cabinet could not see the connection. Only President Abraham Lincoln recognized his remarkable leadership skills.

Lincoln, ignoring the protests of his advisors, reinstated McClellan in command. He told the general to ride to Virginia and give the troops something no other man on earth could give them: enthusiasm! strength! resolve!, and hope! McClellan accepted the command. He mounted his huge horse and cantered down the dusty Virginia roads.

What happened next is impossible to explain. Northern leaders couldn’t explain it. Even McClellan couldn’t later explain it. As the general met the retreating Union columns, he waved his hat over his head and shouted encouragement. When these bedraggled, worn-out troops saw their  beloved leader/teacher they took heart. They were stirred by the feeling that now things would be different!

Bruce Catton, the Civil War historian, describes the enthusiasm that grew when word spread up and down through the ranks that General George McClellan was back in command: “Down mile after mile of Virginia roads the stumbling columns came alive. Men threw their caps and knapsacks into the air, and yelled until they could yell no more...because they saw this dapper little rider outlined against the purple starlight.

“And this, in a way, was the turning point of the war. No one could ever quite explain how it happened. But whatever it was, it gave President Lincoln and the North exactly what it needed. And history was forever changed because of it.”

This story out of our history dramatically illustrated the impact one leader can have on the human being! General McClellan inspired these burned-out troops to take another grip on life. That’s why leaders are leaders! That’s the challenge of the pastor/leader who points to the ultimate leader—Jesus Christ!

 

 

In His Service

Terry and Mary 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Associate Pastor’s Desk

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10

As we journey in the season of Lent and prepare these 40 days for the resurrection of Jesus, I think of Jesus’ response when asked what is the greatest commandment – “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two

commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-39)

 

Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? Jesus tells us plainly: Here are the essentials – love God with all you’ve got, and love your neighbor as yourself. The challenge, though, is that so much happens along the way day to day and week to week that bogs us down. We are disappointed, we are

treated unfairly, we are cheated out of something we worked hard for and don’t want to forgive, perhaps we are the one who has acted dishonestly and are in desperate need of forgiveness from another – or even from ourselves. And herein lies the simple but profound prayer of the psalmist – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” We

continually need holy and wholly renewing from God.

 

The Lenten season is the time in which we reflect honestly on our mortality and our propensity to sin. In this sort of rigorous honesty with ourselves and with God about our messiness, we

paradoxically are able to breathe in freedom and power from Jesus, and only Jesus, who through his birth, death, and resurrection is able to renew our hearts and empower us into new and restored life.

 

In Christ,

Rev. Beth+