We need Jesus and Ben

Published 2:05 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018


By John Warren


Memorial Day in Wimberley, Texas it is the beginning of the movie season for The Corral Theatre opens for the summer.

Every summer since the late 1940’s, The Corral has opened Memorial Day weekend and every week-end until Labor Day to show first run family movies on their outdoor screen to patrons in their lawn chairs enjoying a movie under the stars with fireflies fluttering in the breeze.

But for me, since 1980, Memorial Day has meant a day of reports, and preaching as I attend The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Memorial Day in our country is set aside to remember those who have died in service to our military.

Many spend time at cemeteries marking graves with flags and telling stories of their loved ones. The world is always in need of persons willing to give their lives to a greater cause.

We are always in need of such persons.

Jesus surrounded himself with at least 12 such persons, but I suspect there were others as well who were of support of them.

I wish we had a modern day Benjamin Franklin. I’ve been reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Franklin.

He was brilliant, as he led and mentored the brightest lights of early America: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.

When the Constitutional Convention was at a total impasse, none of the delegates would budge on their irreconcilable differences over how to be a nation Franklin rose and made this impassioned speech.

“I cannot help expressing a wish that every member of the convention who may still have objections would, with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument. I confess that I do not entirely approve this Constitution. But having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subject, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that, the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment and pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them, it is so far error.”

Then, with his usual wry humor, he told of “a French lady who, in a dispute with her sister, said: ‘I don’t know how it happens, sister, but I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right.’”

Wouldn’t our lives be better if we all realized we are not perfect and cut one another some slack?

Please pray for an imperfect church full of sinners as we go to conference.

That is where sinners should be in church. If you are one, we have room for more.


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.