“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people.”
Joel 2:15–16a, NRSV
The Longhorns of Texas are calling the people of The United Methodist Church to gather in Ft. Worth for the most important quadrennial event in the life of the church just as the shofar of old called the children Israel to celebrate high holy days and rush into battle in the name of the Lord. But will this gathering call United Methodists to action that will crumble the walls of institutional bureaucracy as the blast of the shofar tumbled Jericho? Can it cause the church to examine deeply its divisive, sinful ways like those who respond to the call for repentence at Rosh Hashanah and later celebrate the day of atonement (Yom Kippur) with renewed zeal to love and serve Yahweh.
Over the next ten days nearly 1,000 lay and clergy delegates of the global United Methodist Church will consider more than 1,500 petitions to alter church law and take a stand on a variety of issues. These delegates are the official voice of The United Methodist Church. They are the shofar blowers who can sound a wake-up call to the 11.5 million member church. Will they rise to the challenge and set a direct course for the future or merely exchange so much hot air with nothing more than sore feet, aching backs and blood-shot eyes to show for it?
The horn has sounded. It's time to take action. Let's not blow it!