Submitted by Pastor Andrew Sanders, Fairfax United Methodist Church

1 Corinthians 3:1-5: 3 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly – mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

At the age of 16 I bought my first car, from a junk yard, for $250. The little car was a two-door 1980 something Oldsmobile Omega. It was rust/maroon. I had to climb in the windows of the car because the doors were so rusty they had quit working. I drove that car for about three months, and sold it for $500. I used that $500 along with another $500 that I had saved to buy my next car, a 1985 Pontiac Grand Prix. That was the car I drove when my wife and I first started dating and even into our early marriage. Since that time I have had numerous vehicles. Each vehicle I bought I felt was an upgrade to the last.

I believe that many of us share similar feelings, whether it is our vehicles, homes or something else. We choose to trade up in life. I feel that most of us naturally make choices that propel us towards bettering our lives in some way.

Is this the same thing we want with our spiritual lives? Each of us start out in our walk with God on a very elementary level. This is where God begins to mold those who are willing. In our scripture Paul tells us that we are to continue to expect to grow all through our lifetimes, in every season of our lives.

I couldn’t imagine if I was still driving that rust/maroon Omega today, having family, friends and even church congregants climb through the windows to enter as my passengers. We shouldn’t be okay with a faith that remains in its infantile stages.

Infantile stages of faith cause one to lash out at others. If we are at the stage where we find ourselves at places of division instead of unifying, then we should re-examine our walk to determine where we aren’t inviting God to help us grow. I heard the heartbreaking news this week of someone placing a sign of hatred out on the side of a building in our wonderful community. This is a sign of an unwillingness to grow into what God is calling us to be.

We may feel as if our choices today are limited, which they may be. The one way that they aren’t limited is the choices the Spirit prompts us to stand up for. It is making the choice to love our neighbors, seek peace, find unity in Christ while standing to unify our communities. Lead with abundant love and an overpouring of grace choosing to let God lead us.

As we move through these uncertain times let us seek to live in peace with one another by recognizing the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, letting us move from our infantile state. God has designed us to be a people of community and hope. If we let Him, it is the Lord that will continue to grow us to full spiritual maturity. This maturity will heal our nation and our communities bringing us to Spiritual maturity.