….A newsletter from the desk of Pastor Steve-Orono United Methodist Church….
What is the best-selling Christian song of all time? I think the answer may surprise you. No, it’s not Amazing Grace, or The Old Rugged Cross. The best-selling Christian song ever is…..drumroll please…. I Can Only Imagine written and sung by Bart Millard, lead singer of the group Mercy Me. The song was technically written in an astounding ten minutes, but as Bart explains, in a sense it took his entire lifetime to write it.
The song is about his relationship with his dad, who Bart describes as a monster when he was being raised. But then something amazing happened-Bart witnessed the transformation of his father from monster to a loving, best friend after he decided he wanted to be a Jesus follower. God came into that father-son relationship bringing healing and reconciliation in a big way. Sadly, his father died of cancer; the song “I Can Only Imagine” speaks of a time when son will again be reunited with his father in heaven.
A movie featuring this song and the relationship between Bart and his father was produced last year called “I Can Only Imagine.” It has become a best-selling movie; we will feature this flick during our “Movie Night” at Orono UMC on Wednesday evening, July 18th. We will share a potluck supper beginning at 6pm before the movie begins; if you prefer to just come for the movie, plan to join us at 7pm. A group of us went to the theater to see this movie a few months ago, but I am really looking forward to seeing it again. If you haven’t seen it yet-make plans to join us on the 18th for a tremendous experience (and bring some Kleenex.)
One of the reasons I treasure this movie is because it demonstrates the power of transformation that comes in relationship with God through Jesus; transformation for ourselves, our relationships, our community and our world. I am not suggesting this relationship necessarily “fixes” everything about our lives. There will still be bills to pay, and we will still struggle with the usual issues of life. Yet amidst all of this we are able to experience a love and peace which “transcends our understanding” (from Paul the Apostle-Philippians.)
Plan to be with us in church during these weeks of summer as we embrace learning, laughter, music and warm fellowship. My goal as pastor is to be part of creating a time of transformation together Sunday mornings when we are reminded of why the ancient scriptures are important and relevant to us in 2018, and how meeting as a church family inspires us to sing “I Can Only Imagine” together. See you in church!
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)