KinmundyChurch.org: Welcome to our church blog!

We Would Like You To Know —

1.  At this time, due to decreasing Coronavirus rates, the United Methodists Churches of our Illinois Great Rivers Conference are worshiping in face-to-face worship services. On May 14, 2021, the Illinois Great Rivers Conference announce a significant relaxation in safety standards in harmony with recent announcements by the CDC and the Illinois State Department of Public Health. You can read more about these changes below.

2. YOU HAVE SIX CHOICES TO PARTICIPATE IN WORSHIP, depending on what you feel is best for your own safety and situation in this Coronavirus season. We respect your decision.

Choice #1: You are welcome to attend live, Face-to-Face worship at Kinmundy United Methodist Church at 9 am Sunday morning OR at Wesley, 10:45 Sunday morning.

Choice #2: We broadcast the audio of the live service on your car’s FM radio, FM 87.9, to the parking lot at Kinmundy UMC at 9 am. This is a little safer than inside for those who are unvaccinated or concerned about safety. Just like a drive-in, you can bring snacks and coffee.

Choice #3: Please click on the link at the blog post for this Sunday in the “Attend Worship at Home” category to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone. Sermons and worship services for previous weeks are also available.
The same links will be provided on the Kinmundy Church Facebook page.
Pastor Dave intends to continue providing an online service on into the future.

Choice #4: You can also click on the links at the blog post of the day in the “Attend Worship at Home” category to have your own worship service experience, for whatever you are interested in. You can listen to the sermon on audio, pray the prayers, play YouTube versions of the hymns, and/or view the sermon slides with the sermon audio.

Choice #5: A copy of the “Worship at Home” service AND a sermon transcript will be emailed or sent by US Mail Monday to anyone who requests it. Call the church office at 547-7423 to subscribe. The transcript can also be read on the blog after 2 pm on Monday and used in your devotions through the week. Pastor Dave intends to continue provide this on into the future.

Choice #6: If you don’t have the internet and you would like to watch the worship video on DVD, please call the church office.

INFORMATION ON CURRENT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (August 26, 2021):

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor announced Thursday (8/26/21) a state-wide mandate beginning on Monday Aug. 30, that all people wear face masks while with non-household members in public indoor spaces. … As much as we’d like it be otherwise, COVID-19 is still a danger to our congregations and communities. As disciples of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, Christians are called to model the highest standards of care for others, especially those who are at higher risk of becoming sick. 

We
– Encourage you to wear a mask while inside the church building
– Encourage you to spread out, as social distance protects everyone.
– Worship is prerecorded, so if you are feeling cautious or not feeling well, you can watch on your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking on the link on the church Facebook page or the church blog at www.kinmundychurch.org—top right corner.
– Will continue to send the bulletin and a transcript of the sermon by US mail each Monday to those who request it. We can also provide you with a DVD of the prerecorded service to watch on your TV at home, if you request it.

OTHER GUIDELINES
Unvaccinated people who have been potentially exposed should
i) isolate for 14 days OR
ii) isolate for 7 days after exposure and after receiving a negative test result (test
must occur on day 5 or later) in accordance with CDC guidelines:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

Fully vaccinated people do not need to isolate after a possible exposure but should
do so immediately if they begin to experience any COVID-19 symptoms:
 Fever over 100° F.
 Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
 Cough
 Chills
 Fatigue
 Muscle or body pain
 Headache
 New loss of taste or smell
 Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
 Sore throat
 Congestion or runny nose

Maintain 3-6 feet of social distance between yourself and non-household members. Give everyone more space if you are speaking loudly or singing indoors.

Our communities need encouragement, hope, and love. Give everyone an extra amount of care, forgiveness, and grace. People are weary and heart-sick with the weight of COVID-19. Everyone is having to make difficult decisions and weigh complex risk-reduction strategies for themselves and others. Allow some extra grace for everyone. Listen and encourage before judging and attacking. Our successful witness as Christians is mostly about how we treat people, especially the people we encounter outside of our churches and ministries.

SOBER REALITIES:   Unvaccinated people may choose to wear masks for their own safety and the safety of other non-vaccinated people. Please do not crowd each other as we adjust to this change.  Physical distance is the most effective precaution against COVID!

It is possible but unlikely that a vaccinated person can get COVID. A vaccinated person with COVID is as contagious as anyone else, so some may choose to wear masks to protect others.  You can be contagious before you even know you are ill. Not everyone feels safe not wearing a mask—please be kind. We’ve had a tough year! Please pray for wisdom for our government leaders and a calm response throughout this current surge of the Delta variant.

INFORMATION ON PREVIOUS SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (May 23, 2021):

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW … Due to your careful love for your neighbor, the State of Illinois is relaxing COVID restrictions in response to lower numbers. Please pray for wisdom for our leaders and a calm response throughout to the gradual lifting of restrictions.

On Friday May 14, 2021, Curtis Brown, Director of Connectional Ministries for the IGRC, issued an Update on Wearing Masks for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to say: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has updated their safety guidance to state, “… fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting.” … This means that fully vaccinated people will not need to wear a face mask or physically distance in most of our churches during worship services, gatherings, and meetings, including while speaking and singing.” The IGRC recommends that churches should avoid creating special events, gatherings, or worship experiences only available to those who are already fully vaccinated. Our ministries are meant for all, and we need to be diligent in ensuring that an individual’s access to vaccination does not become a barrier for people’s full participation in the life of our churches.

Unvaccinated people may choose to wear masks for their own safety and the safety of other non-vaccinated people.

Additionally, some fully vaccinated people may wish to continue to wear masks out of an abundance of caution or in solidarity with children and other people who are not able to be vaccinated. Please do not crowd each other as we adjust to these changes.

We will continue to practice all safety measures recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health, as listed above. As a United Methodist Church, we do not wish to discriminate against unvaccinated persons, or require more from them than what we ask of vaccinated persons.

We will also very carefully and kindly respect anyone who chooses to not attend worship at this time, whether it is because they wish to be safer or because they wish to avoid wearing a mask. We love you and support your personal decision, and look forward to seeing you again.

Our goal is to provide the safest possible environment for inside worship at Kinmundy UMC and Wesley UMC, plus safe choices for our members to worship in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.  We will not compromise.

You may read the complete text of Dr Curtis Brown’s Update on Wearing Masks for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference by clicking here.

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KinmundyChurch.org: The Blog of the Kinmundy and Wesley United Methodist Churches, 308 E. 3rd St, Kinmundy, IL, 62854


Worship at Kinmundy: 9 am Sunday. At Wesley: 10:45 Sunday.
Visit us on Facebook here!
Listen to or download sermons and slides by clicking here.

Vision Statement: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
Mission Statement: “Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional.” (¶126, Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church)

The world has 2 needs and 2 kinds of people: People who need to become disciples
and disciples who need to become disciple-makers.
(T4T)

Kinmundy United Methodist Churches
308 3rd Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854
Worship Sunday mornings at 9 am.  Please join us!        

Wesley United Methodist Church
3381 Kinoka Rd, Patoka, IL  62875
Worship Sunday mornings at 10:45 am.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY:
PLEASE CHECK THE CHURCH FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION!

Weekday policy: if South Central public schools are closed because of bad weather,
church activities that day are postponed.
Be Safe!

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home", Overview | Leave a comment

Sermon June 26, 2022: How the Holy Spirit Communicates With Us (Pentecost 4)

Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/724084028

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c31OcbV0hW2

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen

HYMN We Would See Jesus
We Would See Jesus by Fairview Park United Methodist Church
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7oxhvzAs0Q

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − The Centering Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Jesus Loves Me
Gaither Vocal Band – Jesus Loves Me [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQVOld9XFkM

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: How the Holy Spirit Communicates With Us
John 14:25-26, 15:1-10, 8:28-36
Series: “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.”

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

John 14:25 “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30 As he spoke thus, many believed in him. 31 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN Wonderful Words Of Life
Allison Durham Speer, Wesley Pritchard, Sue Dodge, Larry Ford – Wonderful Words of Life
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q499q89HOpM

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones suggested that the Book of Acts should be retitled as “The Acts of the Holy Spirit Through the Apostles.” And so many thousands of years ago, that term apostle had a very distinct meaning, but I would like to tell you the original meaning of the word is someone who is sent. Well, nowadays, brothers and sisters, we are the people who are sent.

And in this Pentecost season, we want to talk about how the Holy Spirit wants to act through us. And of course, a big part of that is for us to understand how the Holy Spirit communicates with us. In Jesus’s last evening that he spent with the disciples, he mentioned several things that the Holy Spirit, the paraclete, which is a Greek version of the word that is translated counselor, translated in the King James as comforter, translated elsewhere as helper, how the Holy Spirit would come alongside of us. That’s the literal meaning of the word in Greek, one who comes alongside to help, and it’s important for us in Pentecost to understand how the Holy Spirit wants to come alongside of us to do God’s will through us.

Let me remind you of something you already know, which is that Pastor Dave loves books. I got this from my father who taught me, even as a child, that inside of a book you could find a truth that would help you with a problem. And so I’ve always had this conviction that if I could go into a bookstore, all the books on the shelves, among all of those many books, I could find one that would help me deal with a problem I was having. And in my younger days, my 20s and 30s and 40s, to browse in the bookstore was my favorite thing to do.

My second favorite thing to do was to buy books. I’m not sure how many books I bought before Kim and I married, but I suspect it literally was three to four thousand books. Now, the other problem is, if you know me well, is my dad is German, my mom is Scottish. The thing I love most is buying books that were on sale! It’s true. Kim said to me, “Please stop buying books that collect dust,” so since then I bought Kindle books, and I have over 3,000 Kindle books. But the reason I have all of those books is I’m convinced when you walk into the store, and you look on those shelves, you can find a truth that can change your life. And if you can’t find it on the ground floor, look at the second floor. Maybe it’s up there. And I would spend many hours looking for truth and then bring truth home.

When I was in my 50s, I came to realize that even though in my conscious mind I knew I was looking for truth, what I was actually looking for in my searching was a savior. Because the savior has the truth that will solve our problems. The savior has the truth that will help us to see clearly the answer. And I realized that what I was actually looking for in the bookstore was my savior. Nonetheless, I have all these books, and in fact, I have more books than I have bookcases.

I have books in boxes. In fact, in my office at home, upstairs, I ran out of bookcases. I’ve got four feet of bookcases there, four feet of bookcases there, another bookcase here, another bookcase here. But there wasn’t enough. So I began to stack books up against the wall with the back out so I could see the titles, so I could hunt for things. And behind the door, I had books stacked up against the wall, literally 4-5 feet high.

A week and a half ago, Kim and I heard a gigantic thump. And I said to myself, something’s fallen on the roof. It sounded exactly like that. I got out, I walked around the entire house, looked at the roof, looked for branches, coconuts, I don’t know. Nothing on the roof.

A week later, I went into my office at home, upstairs, and looked in a direction I don’t normally look, and that five-foot-high stack of books … wasn’t quite so high. It had thumped onto the floor. This past week for this sermon, I started looking for a book. The title was something like the Small Church Pastor’s Handbook. It was published back in the ’80s. It has a beautiful quote in it that I wanted to share with you. And I looked and I looked and I looked. It’s a green book, I remember that. I looked and I looked and I looked, and I could not find it anywhere. Maybe I loaned it to someone. Maybe I’m just so disorganized. Maybe it’s at the bottom of that stack on the floor.

So I had to reconstruct the quote from memory. And it was something like this: The purpose of the small church pastor is not to preach a certain number of sermons, visit a certain number of people in the hospital or nursing home, or in their homes, or attend a certain number of committee meetings. The true purpose of the pastor is to live such a life with people, connected to people, that people can truly sense that what we believe is genuinely true.

How do we have that sense such that people see us and believe that the truth about Jesus Christ that we hold in our hearts is genuinely true?

Here’s what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do within us. John 14:25, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Comforter, the Helper, the Paraclete, the one who comes alongside to help us, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,” will do what?

Look at the words, “He will teach you all things.” This is what Jesus said back when there were no bookstores. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things. And someone might ask, “How will the Holy Spirit teach us everything we need to know?” Look at the words. It’s very strange. The way the Holy Spirit will teach you everything you need to know according to this passage is this: “The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Now, it’s possible that the Holy Spirit would guide you by reminding you of a passage from the Psalms. It’s possible that the Holy Spirit would teach you by causing you to turn somewhere in the prophets or somewhere in the first five books of the Old Testament. It’s possible, because we certainly do not wish to limit the Holy Spirit. But what Jesus clearly and explicitly says here is that the Holy Spirit will have a desire to bring to your remembrance everything Jesus said, and of course, along with that, everything Jesus did, because that’s what we need to know. By reminding us of the Savior, everything we need to know will be revealed to us. So the Paraclete comes alongside to answer the question, “What did Jesus say about this?”

A couple of other things about how Jesus spoke of Scripture. This is one of my favorites. John 15, the very next chapter, Jesus says, “I am the true vine. My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, He takes away. And every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” You’ve heard me say this before, one of my pet peeves: preachers preach on this passage and they talk about how painful it is when God chooses to prune us, how terrible it is when God chooses to prune us. I want to say to you, “Ridiculous!”

My doctor would like me to lose 75 pounds, maybe more, but let’s just keep that in mind. You know what it is to be pruned? The farmer comes and takes away what you don’t need. The farmer comes and takes away what is holding you back. The farmer comes and takes away what is making you ill. The farmer comes and takes away probably what’s already half dead. Do you know what pruning is, brothers and sisters? You go to bed and you wake up the next morning and you’re 70 pounds lighter. Would anyone really complain about that?

But how exactly does God prune us? Look at the third verse. You are already made clean … Greek word, it’s the same word that’s translated pruning. You are pruned in other words by the word which I have spoken to you. You know what the pruning shears are, friends? Right here. The words of Jesus applied to your life will take away what you don’t need. They will take away what holds you back. They will take away what harms you. The words of Jesus will comb through your life and take out the tangles. Not only that, I think as an outcome of that activity, we will come to abide in Jesus, and Jesus will abide in us. When the Holy Spirit reminds us of everything Jesus said and everything Jesus did, that’s a great blessing to us.

Here’s another verse that Jesus said about his words from John 8, Jesus then said to the Jews who believed in him and I think to us today because we believe in him, “If you continue in my word,” and the word continue implies a consistent, regular practice. “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.” This is the only place in the New Testament where Jesus indicates a requirement to be considered a disciple. “If you continue in My word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

And the people listening to him say, “We are children of Abraham and we have never been in bondage to anyone,” which is not true. They were slaves in Egypt. They were under the oppression of the Roman government. But Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”

Friends, if we continue in the words of Jesus– if we continue in the words of Jesus, they will reveal truth to us. And the greatest truth, of course, is all the sin that holds us back or damages our life. What’s the difference between right and wrong? You will find it in the words of Jesus. And if you continue in the words of Jesus, you will be quite surprised at what Jesus says is wrong, because when you compare the words of Jesus to what other people might want to tell you is wrong, you’ll find quite often that Jesus never said anything about that.

We need to know the words of Jesus. The picture on the screen is a picture of a country road south of Weatherford, Oklahoma. It looks like there is about a foot of water running across the road. But when that water drains down, you see that there is a — looks like about a 20-foot deep ditch where the water has washed away not only the road, but the earth under the road. If you tried to drive over what appears to be a tiny shallow bit of water, you would find yourself in a world of trouble because you don’t know the truth. To be honest, the truth can save your life. And if you allow the words of Jesus Christ to continually flow into your life, they will reveal the truth to you in a way that will enhance your life, but might even save your life.

During this sermon series, during the season of Pentecost, we’re talking about ways that the Holy Spirit works through us. And I’ve suggested to you that there are three things that are foundational.

On Easter Sunday evening, Jesus said to the disciples gathered in the upper room, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” Now, let that sink in for a moment. Jesus Christ was sent to be the Savior. He was baptized and filled by the Holy Spirit, rose up, filled in the power of the Holy Spirit and went out to do his ministry. And now on the day of resurrection, Jesus looks out over the disciples and he says, “The way the Father sent me… Now, even so, exactly the same way, I think you could interpret it to me, now I’m going to send you to do the same things.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

When you study how Jesus did what Jesus did, God spoke to Jesus. And Jesus said that he never said a word that the Father did not tell Him to say. And Jesus did these miracles. But we also understand by the scripture that Jesus was fully human, just like you and I, with all of our human limitations. Well, if that’s true, how could Jesus do all these miracles? And the answer is God acted through the Holy Spirit, through Jesus. And so, friends, now, you and I, God can act through us, through the Holy Spirit to do amazing things.

Well, Pastor Dave, how do I know what God wants me to do when I’m sent to do something? Well, what the Holy Spirit is there to do is help you answer a question. And when you find yourself going through your day, you’re in a situation and you wonder, “What does God want me to do?” You can pray a simple prayer. You can ask the Holy Spirit, “What would Jesus do?” Because remember, what the Holy Spirit wants to do is to show you what Jesus would do, so that you could be inspired, so that you could be instructed, so that you could see, “Oh, first do this, first do that.” So that you could pray a certain way for God to act. Sometimes, so that you could say to a person, “This reminds me of something Jesus said.” And you can tell them what Jesus said. What would Jesus do? The Holy Spirit will answer that and will tell you.
Ephesians 2:10 says that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. And what that means is, as you go through your day, from one thing to another, you will find along the way people that God has brought into your proximity, because there’s something that God wants to do. And you know what we call those people? They are neighbors. And what the scripture says is we’re to love our neighbors.

Well, Lord, how am I supposed to show your love here? The prayer you ask, the question you ask is, “What would Jesus do?” And then be guided, be inspired, because whatever Jesus would do, it’s probably right for us to do. It’s probably right for us to be like Him. So people along your way as you go through your day, they are there on purpose. They are your micro-mission field, the ten to twelve people you interact with every week. God is going to use you to bless those ten or twelve people. And God is going to use the person sitting next to you to bless a different ten or twelve people. And God is going to use the person across the room to bless another ten or twelve people. And in this way, through us, God can bless an entire community, an entire county, an entire region. But how we know what to do is we can pray that prayer, “What would Jesus do?”, and be guided by the memory of Jesus that comes to us.

When the temple was rebuilt, the Jewish people were sent from Babylon back to Jerusalem, and their leader was told that, “The goals of God would be achieved, not by human might, not by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. So, how can we receive guidance? We can understand how the Holy Spirit communicates with us.

The Holy Spirit chooses to communicate with us according to this verse in John chapter 14, by reminding us of what Jesus said and did. Friends, if you never pick up the Bible, if you never read the chapters in the Gospels, if you are unfamiliar with what Jesus said or did, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for you to be able to hear from God what you or I need to do in a particular moment. But you know something? Just like when you drive down a road at night, you don’t need to see all the way to your destination. If you can see what’s right in front of you clearly, it will be safe for you to move forward.

So, I’d like to encourage you, we talked about this at the beginning of Lent, to consider going for a disciple walk. What’s a disciple walk? Well, you open up the Gospels and you read each day a chapter. You start with the book of Matthew. That would mean that this morning, like me, you’d open up and read Matthew 26 because you’re wanting to become familiar with what Jesus said and did, so that the Holy Spirit can remind you in any given moment when you need guidance, what Jesus would do. If you feed your minds with the words of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will remind you when you need that reminder.

Let the words of the hymn inspire you: We would see Jesus in the early morning, still, as of old, he calleth, “Follow me.” Let us arise all meaner service scorning, Lord, we are Thine. We give ourselves to Thee.

Please pray with me, “Lord Jesus, you said you would not leave us alone, but you would send us a comforter, someone who would come alongside of us to help and to guide us. And, Lord, thank you for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Lord, help our ears and eyes and minds to be open, knowing that what the Holy Spirit is likely to do because you said so. Help our eyes and ears and minds to be open so that in the moment we need Your guidance, we would be reminded of the example you set, of the instructions you left, so that we could repeat, now, what you did back then … as an example of how to treat people, how to love people, how to teach people, an example of what the truth is, not only to guide us, but others. Lord, may we clearly hear all these reminders to turn our eyes upon Jesus and be guided by all he said and did. And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home" | Leave a comment

Sermon June 19, 2022: Children of God, Adopted (Pentecost 3)

Image via Pixabay

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/721801292

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c31F3TV3dWW

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen

HYMN Faith of Our Fathers
Faith of Our Fathers | Fountainview Academy 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSHzrlGoelQ

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − The Centering Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Children of the Heavenly Father
Children of the Heavenly Father
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1Le7-y9xVI

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Children of God, Adopted
John 14:23-24, Romans 8:14-17, Galatians 4:4-7, Psalm 27:10
Series: “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.”

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

Psalm 27:10 10 Amplified Although my father and my mother have abandoned me, Yet the LORD will take me up [adopt me as His child].

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN This Is My Father’s World
The Collingsworth Family This Is My Father’s World
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blTGqv6hCYo

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

We are working Sunday by Sunday through the season of Pentecost, looking at how the Holy Spirit touches our lives and touches the lives of others through us. And on this Father’s Day, we’re going to talk about the relationship that the Holy Spirit allows us to have with our heavenly Father. I’d like to tell you two stories, and they’re kind of emotional stories for me. Just want to warn you in advance, you may need a Kleenex!

Many, many years ago, Ernest Hemingway wrote a story called The Capital of the World, and it was about a teenage boy by the name of Paco. Now, the name Paco in Spain in those days was the most common first name. And Paco’s father was a little bit dominating, a little bit controlling, and did not at all understand his son’s desire to become a matador. The conflict grew so great that the teenage boy ran away from home to seek his fortune.

Two years went by, and finally, the father traveled to the capital city, Madrid, put an ad in the newspaper that ran for a week. The ad was simple. It said this, “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the Madrid Cathedral this Sunday at noon. All is forgiven. I love you, your Father.”

The publisher of the newspaper was attending late mass that Sunday morning and was quite surprised to come out on the front steps of the church, and there, arranged on the sidewalk and street, as Hemingway said, were 800 Pacos.

There’s a very famous teacher of preaching by the name of Fred Craddock who told a story of something that happened when he was vacationing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He came into a restaurant for breakfast with his wife, and there was this elderly gentleman that was going around and visiting with everybody at all the different tables. And being on vacation, Craddock said to himself, “I sure hope that old man doesn’t bother us.”

Sure enough, the old man comes up to the table, sits down and says, “Where are you folks from?”
“Oklahoma.”
“Oh, that’s a great state. What do you do for a living?”
“Oh, I’m a seminary professor.”
And the old man says, “Well, let me tell you a story.”
And the seminary professor groans and thinks, “One more pastor’s story that I’ve probably heard a hundred times before.”

But the old man pointed out the window at a mountain in the distance and he said, “On the other side of that mountain, a woman gave birth out of wedlock. And I want to tell you a story about that little boy. He grew up without a father and children are cruel. They would come up to him at school and on the playground. And they’d look him in the eye, and they’d say, “Who’s your daddy?” Adults in a small town, well, they came up to him, too, in the grocery store and the public library. They’d look him in the eye and they’d say, “Boy, who’s your daddy?” And the little boy got to where he would avoid other people and basically hide.

But he would go to church. And there was a Sunday, the new preacher was there, and the new preacher gave the benediction before he could get out of the church. So he was trapped in the crowd of people headed for the door.

And he came up to the preacher, and the new preacher put his hand on his shoulder, looked him in the eye, and said, “Boy, who’s your daddy?” Now, of course, he had no idea, but all of a sudden, the whole church just got real quiet. And the way the story is told, the Holy Spirit must have helped the preacher that day, because he knew that something was wrong. But the preacher looked the boy in the eye and calmly said, “I know who your father is. I can see the resemblance in your face. Boy, you’re a child of God. And I see a striking resemblance.” Then he patted me on the shoulder and said, “Now you go and claim your inheritance.” And the little boy said that from that moment on, his entire life changed.

Friends, there is a famine in the land. There is a horrible starvation and hunger all around us. In a 2014 article – that’s the year I arrived to be your pastor – entitled Fathering, Fatherless America, Dr. Scott J. Larson reported one in two children now grow up without a father in the United States. And in our inner cities, only one in five children live with their father. A whole new mission field has developed in America: fathering fatherless kids.

I would like to tell you that I understand this because in 1998, as a result of divorce, my time with my children was cut to one weeknight evening and every other weekend. And you do the best you can, but you’re not able to be present the way you want to be. I have many regrets in my life, and one of the greatest is that I wish I could have been a better father to my three sons. One of my second greatest regrets is that I wish I could have been a better son to my father.

The apostle, Paul, however, has the cure for this famine. The answer to this problem, here’s what he wrote, in 1 Corinthians 4:14: “I do not write this to make you feel ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ–“ and by the way, one of the reasons why you need to check the Greek is the Greek word isn’t countless. The Greek word actually says 10,000. “For although you have 10,000 guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. And I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”

Now, if we take that seriously, what Paul is saying, it’s a wonderful thing for a child to have a guide, but what a child needs is a father. And that’s why Paul said this to the whole church, I became your father. It is a higher calling. It is a larger responsibility to say I will take on the responsibility of a father. And then Paul looks at them and says, “I urge you then, be imitators of me.”

There is a famine in the land, and people are hungry for their fathers. So in the section of Scripture where Jesus talks about what the Holy Spirit is going to do within us and through us, going to be inside of us and connect us with Jesus, we find these words: Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words, obey my teachings, follow my commands, and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.” And you remember how I’ve said multiple times on Easter Sunday, Jesus looked at the disciples and said, “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” And we’ve talked about how the Holy Spirit connects us with Jesus so that as we go, Jesus helps us to understand what to do, and the Holy Spirit provides the power to do it. But what this verse says is, due to the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I will be able to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father like Jesus had.

What if we took these words literally? My Father, our Heavenly Father, will love that person, and we will come to him or her and make our home with him or her. I have wrestled with these words this week because I have the sense that God is not only big, God is so big that it is hard for me to understand that bigness. And one of the things that’s difficult to comprehend seriously is what would it be like for my Heavenly Father to love me and come to me and make his home with me. Because I’m not talking about God as a concept that we believe, not talking about God as a force for good within our world, because I can get that, but the idea that this great God would become a part of my daily life and show love to me, to be honest, just kind of overwhelms me.

But it’s not uncommon. If you take a look at Galatians 4 and other places, in Romans, “when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons and daughters, children of God. And because you’re sons, because you are children of God, God has sent the spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father.” Now, that word abba, you know what that means? That’s papa. That’s daddy. When I talk to God the Father, I talk in very formal tones as if I’m in court. But adoption makes it possible for us to say, “Papa, Daddy.”

Verse seven, “So through God, you are no longer a slave, no longer a servant, but a son. And if a son, then an heir.” Because, friends, you see, God’s plan is adoption. That’s the relationship that God wants to have with you and I. God’s plan is adoption.

We mentioned this next verse back on Mother’s Day. Psalm 27:10, comes out of the Amplified Bible (where they add comments to explain the nuances of the Greek and the Hebrew): “Although my father and mother have abandoned me, yet the Lord will take me up.” And what that literally means in the understanding of the Hebrew is that when my mother and father can no longer do what parents do, when my mother and father leave me, when my mother and father pass away, the Lord will take me up … God will step into that vacant place and adopt me as his child.

And friends, you know how it is. When we’re little children, children, we have a belief that our parents are almost like God. They’re so powerful.

As we grow up, we have a more human understanding of our parents. And there finally comes a time where our parents are not powerful. Our parents are not almighty and omnipotent, but they are now very fragile human beings. And it changes gears to where now the children take care of the parents, as it should be. And I think the point of this verse is when your parents can no longer seem like God, that’s when you should allow God to take that place and allow God to be in that role. When your parents are too weak and fragile now to be a parent to you as they once were, God’s plan for you and I is adoption.

And so you’ve heard me also say this is my understanding of the purpose of a church. We are a functional family of God. And what you see in a functional family is Jesus is Lord, and people grow. And now I get to the point to where I want to add that little word, up, because what God needs is for baby Christians to grow up. And they do that best in a family. And I think we’ve come to understand that the church is supposed to function like a family. I think we now get that in this century.

But you know something that I’m not so sure we get? Even though the church can potentially function as a family because of the Holy Spirit, because of the presence of God, because Jesus said, “If you obey my command, my father and I will come and will live with you,” that the potential is not only for the church to be a family but for you and I to have a genuine emotional relationship with God that is like the ideal relationship that one could have with a father.

In the restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the old man finished his story, looked at Fred Craddock and said, “Isn’t that a great story?” They agreed that it was. And he went off and visited with other people. And Fred Craddock said to the waitress, “Who was that man?” And she said, “Why, that’s Ben Hooper. He’s the former governor of the state of Tennessee.”

One of the things that Ben Hooper said was that these words changed his life because he saw himself differently from that day forward. Because he did, after all, have a Daddy. And Ben Hooper said “if the preacher had not said those words to me that day, I probably would not have amounted to anything in this life.”

Friend, somebody you know today needs a reminder that they’re one of God’s children. Because in the human heart there’s a hunger and a yearning because there’s a famine in the land. And it’s not just about fathers, but it’s a hunger for family.

I have to tell you, one of the myths that we should confront whenever we hear it is the idea that the only thing a child needs is one dad and one mom. And because of that, people have felt that they can move all the way across the country, but as long as there’s one dad and one mom, everything will be just fine. And you know something? It is … until something goes wrong. Somebody gets sick, somebody dies, somebody loses their job, or a marriage gets broken.

It’s not just fathers we hunger for, but we hunger for family. Because what was normal for human beings until just a century ago was for you not only to have a father but also a grandfather who lived down the road, and uncles and aunts. And if your father couldn’t teach you to fish, well, you had uncles for that. And you had cousins and you had nieces and nephews. Friends, we’re supposed to grow up surrounded by family.

And it’s quite a wonderful thing for us to understand that the church is a family that adopts people. And we don’t want to miss the reality that the adoption that brings the greatest blessing in a person’s life is adoption into the family of God. Because God the Father is willing to be in your life in every way as a father.

In Hemingway’s story, there were 800 Pacos. We’re a small town here. There might not be 800 Pacos, but I can guarantee you in the countryside and in the townships around us, there are more than 800 people who yearn for family. 800 boys who yearn for fathers. And when I think of that crowd in front of the church that Sunday morning in the story, I think to myself there probably were a few teenagers, but there were probably a lot of men in their 20s who missed their fathers and in their 30s and in their 40s, maybe even some who were 67 years old like myself. Because we’re born with a yearning in our heart to connect and surround ourselves with people who love us.

Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, on this Father’s Day, we thank you for all the fathering we receive. Sometimes, Lord, it’s that coach. Sometimes, Lord, it’s a schoolteacher. Sometimes it’s a scout leader. Sometimes, Lord, it’s a pastor. But there are fathers in addition to our biological father that influence us, Lord. Sometimes those coaches and teachers are women, but they still provide that guidance. They still provide that confidence, that belief that you can do it. Lord, I thank you for the way this nurture comes into the lives of children. Well, Lord, into the lives of people of all ages, because no matter how old we are, we still need it. But I’m so thankful, Lord, that no matter how old I am, you Eternal God will always be my Father and help me to understand what it means to be a father. And perhaps from time to time, I will be allowed to have a moment to bless the life of someone around me. Lord Jesus, I ask that you would bless us on this Father’s Day. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home" | Leave a comment

Sermon June 12, 2022: He Will Give You Another Comforter (Pentecost 2)

Replace Me

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/719453984

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c31X3uV3wWw

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen

HYMN Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah – First Methodist Houston, Downtown
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT-1svSDnws

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − The Centering Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Kum Bah Yah
KUM BA YAH | AFRICAN MUSIC by Rafael Almadilla
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTD4idaHKWc

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: He Will Give You Another Comforter
John 14:12-17
Series: “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.”

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video Audio

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SERMON NOTES

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; 14 if you ask anything in my name, I will do it. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Ernie Haase, Babbie Mason – Every Time I Feel the Spirit [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kXw5Z9O38A

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

United Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones said the title of the book of Acts should change from what we normally see in our Bible, which is the Acts of the Apostles. We should change it to The Acts of the Holy Spirit Through The Apostles because that’s a more accurate explanation of what God is trying to do. Beginning today and for the next few weeks, I want to try to talk to you in very clear, specific terms: How does the Holy Spirit act through the apostles, including you and me? Because the word apostle means sent one. And you and I are also sent to do God’s work!

There are three foundations. And we’ve talked about this many times this spring. The first one is this: on Easter Sunday, now that Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you.” That’s why I can say that you also are apostles because you are sent. You have a mission. You have a purpose. Your life is never meaningless if your desire is to do God’s will.

And not only that, it goes on to say, “And when he said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” How are you and I going to do these things that God wants to be done? Well, as I said, the answer actually is that the Holy Spirit is going to do them. You are the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit acts.

And so as you go to and fro during your week, during your day, you’re going to find yourself in situations– notice the yellow words in the top box there. You’re going to find yourself in situations that God has prepared beforehand so that you can do some good thing, something that God desires in your micro mission field. Now, what do I mean by that? God is most frequently going to use you to influence the people who you talk with every week. Now, some of us may be introverted; maybe there’s just a few people. Some of us may be extroverted; maybe there’s more people. But as you go from person to person, as you encounter people during the week, it’s wonderful for you to think, “What does God desire to happen?”

And if you want, you can use the prayer of St. Francis as a guide because we’re here not so much to be consoled as to console. We’re here not so much to receive but to give. Where there is hatred, let me so love. So if in this situation you are sensitive, it’s very likely that you will understand that God wants something to happen through us. But it’s a new thing for the disciples. It’s a new thing for us to let the Holy Spirit work through us.

In Zechariah 4:6, with regard to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple following the return of the Jewish people from Babylon, the Prophet reminded them, “What you are going to do will not be done by your might, won’t be done by your power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” And what that means is, in all those situations, it’s not how powerful I am or what I have, but how can I yield and let God work? How can I partner with God? How can I discern the Holy Spirit? Well, obviously you can say, when you’re coming up to someone, before you even say hello, you could say as a prayer, “Lord, what do I need to learn about what you want now?” But it’s also true. How do I work with the Holy Spirit? And you see here’s the answer, if you remember how Jesus said, “As the Father sent me, I send you.”

Jesus’s ministry began when the Holy Spirit descended on him. So whenever you read what Jesus did, you will see how Jesus allowed the Holy Spirit to work through him. But we’re in a situation, this is new to us, and there’s going to be a learning period. There’s going to be a learning curve because this is new to us.

John 14:16, Jesus says to them in the upper room the night before he goes to the cross, “I will pray the Father and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever.” Now that word counselor, that’s what the RSV calls it. King James Version uses the phrase comforter. I like that one a lot better. Other translations use the word helper, but it’s the Holy Spirit. And the Greek word that’s used there is Paraclaytos, from which we make into an English word called the Paraclete.

This is something that the disciples will need to learn. But the Holy Spirit is now going to be with us just as Jesus is with us. The Holy Spirit is going to be inside of us as Jesus is inside of us. And that Holy Spirit, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him, but you know Him, for he dwells with you. They have seen Jesus operate out of the Holy Spirit now for three years. And now Jesus says, just as the Holy Spirit was inside of him, the Holy Spirit will be in them.

Now, how does the Holy Spirit work? If you read through the Gospels and look at what Jesus did, what you find are the words just before these in the Gospel of John. Here is the primary way that the Holy Spirit works. Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do because I go to the Father.” Jesus, in a sense, is now working from heaven, but he’s connected to us through the network of the Holy Holy Spirit. How is it that we will do greater works than Jesus did? Look at verse 13: Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it. That the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

But please understand, asking something in Jesus’s name does not refer to your Christmas list. Remember the prayer of St. Francis? We’re not asking for what we receive, but for what is needed. The way the Holy Spirit operates through you and me most often will be because when we come up to someone, we find ourselves praying: Lord, help them and then God helps them. Lord help them to learn from this. And then the Lord helps to teach them. And one of the main things we do that helps the Holy Spirit to flow through us is that we take what we’re feeling, feeling in our hearts and we turn it into a prayer. And just like a magnifying lens can focus the light of the sun, your prayer focuses the power of God to specifically help someone. And so consequently, all day long, every day in this community, hundreds of prayers focus God’s power to help very specific people in very specific situations. The way the Holy Spirit most commonly works through us is that you and I ask for God’s help in prayer for another person.

Let me tell you a story that comes from 1989. My oldest son was nine years old and he was a Cubs fan. And our family was living in Quincy, Illinois. And around the time of his birthday, he and I would get in the car and we would drive all the way to Wrigley Field to go to some Cubs baseball games. So you go to an afternoon game and you go to a night game and because you’re young and stupid … I’m referring to myself … you think you can drive home from Chicago starting at 9 o’clock at night game! (I’m now too smart to do that! But back then I was not.)

So you drive down I-55 at Springfield, you drive west on I-72. And as you get closer to Quincy, if you’re familiar with Quincy, they built a new four-lane interstate bypass going north from I-72 about 18 miles into Quincy. So I turned onto that bypass and it was relatively new construction. There was nothing there. It was as dark as what you see in the picture. And then all of a sudden, I don’t think I dozed off. But all of a sudden, I noticed in front of my right headlight a patch of fur just like you see on the screen there. And that’s how I got my first deer – with a 1986 Ford Escort. Instantly, going down the highway, 70 miles an hour. No one around me … instantly my headlights go out and I’m driving 70 miles an hour in the dark. Fortunately, I know the road. It’s straight as an arrow as flat as can be. I just simply began to slow down. And I could tell by the sound of the tires as I slid over onto the shoulder. And I parked the car and it was absolute, complete darkness.

And I said, “Lord, what are we going to do now?” These are the days before cell phones, friends. I’m at least a 10-mile walk from the nearest farmhouse. And my nine-year-old never woke up. He slept through the whole thing. And I think to myself, “This is terrible.”

So I turn on the flashers. Flash, flash, flash. They light up the area around me just a tiny little bit. And back in the mirror behind me, I see a car, the headlights of a car. And I say, “Oh, thank you, Lord.” And the car comes toward me, moves over into the left-hand lane, and drives right by. Over the next half an hour, it happened three more times. Flash, flash, flash. And it occurred to me I could probably, in the light of the flashing lights, drive along the shoulder of the road. So 10 miles an hour, I began to drive along the shoulder of the road, lit by the flashing lights.

Way far in the back, I saw the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. As it got closer, I could tell by the size that it was a semi-trailer truck. And as he pulled over into the left-hand lane to pass me, he slowed down to look at this weirdo driving on the shoulder by the light of his emergency flashers. And he pulled up a little bit ahead, and I guess he could see the damage to the front of the car caused by hitting the deer.

And then he slowed down and backed up to where he’s about 50 feet behind me. And all of a sudden his brights came off. And the road in front of me looked a little bit like what you see in that picture. And I said to myself, “Thank you, Lord Jesus.” Now, I was thankful for the trucker, but I was thankful for Jesus hearing my prayer. And I turned onto the interstate right lane from the shoulder and he matched my speed as I worked up to 25 miles per hour and worked up to 35. And finally, I was going down the interstate at 55 miles an hour because this trucker was my headlights and God had helped me.

Now, I’ll be very honest with you. You know, when you’re a pastor, that weird things happen to you so you can put them into sermons. So I immediately make the connection that the trucker behind me is a paraclete, because the literal meaning of that word– they translate it to counselor, comforter, helper, but you know what it literally means? It means someone who comes alongside … so that you are not alone. It means someone who comes alongside so that you’re not helpless. It means someone who comes alongside to do what’s most needed. And what I most needed at that moment was light.

This didn’t cost that trucker anything. It was not even an interruption in his night’s work. He was able to do exactly what I needed. A paraclete is a person who shines a light into your darkness, one who provides exactly the help that is needed. We got up to the exit. I pulled over, and he pulled up behind me, and he said, “Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am. Everything’s fine.” I said, “Would you mind following me on into town because I need to get to a pay phone to call the Sheriff to report the accident to call and get a ride?”
He said, “Sure.”
But I want to tell you, ever after that day, I have a very great fondness for Bunny Bread because that’s the truck that lit up the road for me!

And in addition to that, you see, this man was a means by which the Holy Spirit met my needs. Ever since 1989, I’ve been waiting to see some weirdo and a Ford Escort driving by the flashers down the side of the road so that I can do it again. Only this time, I get to be the paraclete. This time, I get to be the person who, simply by turning on my brights, saves the day.

And you see, friends, this is an example I want to share, I want to suggest, of how God would want to work through you and me because, remember, God organizes these things beforehand so that you already have what is most needed that you can provide to help someone. It’s already there.

Now, here’s the problem. We don’t have a list so that you know what to put in your trunk. You just simply have to trust God. We don’t know how we’re going to be able to help somebody because we don’t know everything that God knows. But in the moment, maybe we will realize that we have something to offer. Now that’s you and I responding to what’s needed in the moment.

There’s another truth here about how the Holy Spirit works. And that’s that each one of us has a specialty. Each one of us has a gift. Friends, if somebody has the gift of playing a musical instrument, you want them to play. If somebody else has a gift to teach, you want to make sure they can teach. And every single bit of expertise that a person has comes to them from God so they can use it to do God’s work.

And the best illustration I’ve ever had for this is that you have a natural aptitude for a specific tool. Some of us are hammer people. We love our hammers. Now a problem – and you probably already know this – to somebody who loves their hammer, everything looks like a problem you should solve with a hammer. That’s not always true.

The second thing is if you’re a person that God uses to hammer things, think about what a hammer does. It connects things together. If your ministry is connecting things together, we need you to do that. But the other thing is, the hammer isn’t much good without a nail. So you have to look around and be aware. Now, if I’m a hammer, who’s the person who’s got the nails? Because you’re going to do God’s will with a partner who brings the other half of what’s needed.

Maybe the situation is not that something needs to be hammered, but something is too tight and needs to be loosened up. And thank God for the WD 40 people who go around and help people to loosen up, relax, and who help people calm down. You pour oil on the waters. You pour WD 40 on people who are just too tight. But in the same way, thank God for you wrench people because sometimes the problem is that it’s too tight and it needs to be loosened. Every one of us needs to be aware: We tend to have a specialty. And a lot of times God will use you in the area of your specialty.

Now, here’s the problem that the Church had in Corinth – 1 Corinthians 12, all the specialties that were used in worship were put up on a high pedestal. So singers and preachers and musicians, they were highly honored. But friends, every single one of us has a way that God desires to work through us. Verse 7-1 Corinthians 12: 7. To each is given – every single one of us – a manifestation of the Spirit, the way the Holy Spirit works through us … for the common good. And more often than not, as you go through your day, God will put people in front of you who need a hammer if you’re a hammer person, so just be ready.

But sometimes it’s not a hammer that is needed. Sometimes it’s that we pray and that we care and that we show people love. And as a result, we want to have within us what military people talk about. We want to be situationally aware. I can tell you, as a very big man, I’m extremely situationally aware, you know why? If I walk through a crowd and I’m not paying attention, I will bump somebody and I will literally knock them off their feet.

But it always astonishes me when other people are not situationally aware. You pull into the drive-through line at McDonald’s, and you’re waiting your turn to give your order into the speaker. And if the idiot – – – I mean, the person in front of you – – – would just pull forward three more feet, you could give your order and your food would be ready sooner. But you know what it is? They’re not situationally aware.

And so as you go through your day, you can pray, “Lord, help me to be aware.” As the centering prayer says, “Help me to notice my neighbor.” But you can also be situationally aware and ask for God’s guidance: “Lord, help me to notice what you would like to see happen here.” And then if what’s needed is a hammer … I can tell you in that line at McDonald’s, I’ve wished that I had a hammer. That’s a joke. I’m glad I don’t carry a hammer with me! It would be a grievous temptation. In the moment, we want to use the right tool to benefit others.

But more often than not, as I said earlier, the main way the Holy Spirit will work through you is that you can focus your prayers on what needs to happen here. And the way most often that God will meet the needs of people is by answering the prayer that you prayed.

Because the one who comes alongside the person in need, the paraclete will deliver the answer to your prayer to that person.

Another way to say that same thing is the prayer you’re saying so many times is simply this: Lord, come by here, Kum Bah Yah, and let me know what I’m to do. But, Lord, also help that person. And it might be, could be, that you’ll be asked to pay for the meal of the person behind you. It might be that you’ll be asked to do something else. But most of the time it’s just very likely that what God will ask you to do is pray for them and remember — and the next time you see them, you can do another something. And the time after that, then you’ll help them again, and your ongoing assistance will make a huge difference in that person’s life. But it normally starts with us praying, “Lord, come by here, help me to understand what you want.” And then God answers your prayer.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, it’s a new thing for us because our whole lives we’ve been praying in human situations that you would do all the work, and now the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, and we’re coming to understand that you want to work through us, and you still do most of the work. But there sometimes is something that we do.
Lord, it’s so much easier for us to dump all the work onto you and then just go our merry way. But, Lord help us to be sensitive so that the thing that you ask of us in every separate human situation, quite often just a little tiny thing, help us, Lord, to be able and aware and ready to do that tiny little thing that allows the Holy Spirit to flow through us to meet someone else’s need, to change someone else’s life. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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Sermon June 5, 2022: When The Holy Spirit Comes (Pentecost)

Photo via Pixabay

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/717180076

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c31he5V32b4

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen

HYMN We Are The Church
We Are The Church
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ughMVTMhCuc

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − The Centering Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Sweet, Sweet, Spirit
Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – Sweet, Sweet, Spirit [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i73PZJugjTk

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: When The Holy Spirit Comes
Zechariah 4:6, Acts 2
Series: “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.”

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audio … Sermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio
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SERMON NOTES

Zechariah 4:6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? … 11 … we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day;
16 but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. 21 And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ …

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40 And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Have Thine Own Way, Lord by Paul Horne Music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3EoCmCFmK4

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Today is the day on the church calendar that we celebrate the holiday – the holy day – of Pentecost. Pentecost is a Jewish feast where thousands of people were in Jerusalem. And 7 weeks after Easter Sunday, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples to dwell within them just as Jesus had foretold. There are many people who call this the birthday of the church. And certainly, it is the day that God chose to work through God’s people.

Now, last week, we mentioned the Feast of the Ascension, Ascension Day. Thursday, May 26th, 10 days ago, that’s the day that Jesus rose up into heaven, and told the disciples to wait in the city until the power to witness came upon them. And I love this little meme because it points out that what Jesus was doing is he was rising up to heaven, and from now on, he’d be working from home. We understand that in these post-pandemic days.

Jesus is working from home, but he’s still here. He’s still here because he is connected to his people. If you work from home, you know the main thing you need is a good Internet connection. Friends, if Jesus is going to work from home through us while we’re here, there needs to be a strong connection that links us together, and that connection is the presence of the Holy Spirit inside of us. That’s the importance of Pentecost for every single one of us. Do you remember the Verizon commercial – “can you hear me now?” Friends, we need that connection for Jesus to work through us.

And this week, I also chuckled at this. Maybe you saw it.

A news reporter asked Michael Jordan if he thought the 1990s Bulls could beat the modern-day Los Angeles Lakers led by LeBron James. Michael Jordan’s reply was yes.
The reporter said, “You can beat them? Well, by how much?”
And Michael Jordan said, “Well, two or three points.”
The reporter said, “Why would it be such a close game?”
Michael Jordan said, “Well, most of us are almost 60 now.”

And this story just really struck me. But I had to think, “Why does this seem important to me? Why is this funny?” Well, obviously, the first thing that’s funny about it is the idea that a group of 60-year-old men would win a game against 30-year-old men, the best in the world, even if it’s only by two or three points. That is self-confidence – and funny.

But as I got to thinking about it, I think what’s truly serious about this joke, what really honestly is funny about this joke, is something that’s really very subtle, and that they would walk out onto the floor and do their best.

Many, many, many years ago in my childhood, my father was very fond of the police auction in Belleville. I don’t know if they do this where you grew up, but the police in Belleville, they would pick up all these beaten-up bicycles, bicycles involved in car accidents, and they would take a part off of this bike and bolt it onto this bike. And they would make bicycles out of all the broken parts, and then they would sell them really cheap and donate the money to charity. And that’s where my father loved to buy bicycles for my brother and I. They were Frankenstein bicycles. And I remember sitting up at the top of the hill of a city park that was real close to where we lived. And there were two or three other boys with their brand-new 10-speed bikes laughing at our bicycles. And they said, “You could never beat us in a race.”
And we said, “Why?”
He said, “Well, our bicycles have 10 speeds. They have those little tiny racer wheels, and you got those big balloon tires on your Frankenstein bike. You could never win.”

Now, this is interesting. Here’s the difference between my brother and I. I’m the oldest. I knew I couldn’t win, so I didn’t say anything. But my brother said, “I can beat you.” And he jumped on his Frankenstein bike, and the other kid jumped on his bike, and they counted it down, and they raced down the hill. And my brother lost by 100 yards. But I tell you the difference between him and me – Kim’s laughing because she knows him – he would not walk away from a challenge because he assumed he didn’t have what was needed. So I imagine a group of 60-year-old men come out to play, and you know something? They might not outscore the other opponents, but they won when they walked onto the court because they would not draw back from a challenge. They would not assume that they would lose. But even if they knew they were going to lose, they still would rise to the challenge.

Now, there’s another little photograph on the screen there. That is Phil Jackson. That is the coach of the Chicago Bulls during this era when they won more championships than any other professional team in history. And I would like to tell you about Phil Jackson. He grew up in North Dakota; his high school basketball team won the state championship twice. He went on to college, and his college team won the national championship. And he was drafted by the New York Knicks, and they won a championship. So he knew how to play. And then he became a coach. And as a coach, at 73%, he has the highest winning percentage for games coached of any coach in history, to the best of my understanding. 73% – but you see, here’s the thing for us to remember. He could tell the team what to do because he had done what they were doing. But the coach, well, he doesn’t exactly work from home -but while the coach helps the team play the game, with very few exceptions, the coach doesn’t play. The coach works through the players.

Friends, in Jesus Christ, you and I have a coach who knows what he’s doing. Jesus Christ understands what is needed. And if we are connected to him and listen to him, we who walk onto the court will be able to do what we need to do. And most likely, we’ll win by far more than two or three points, which leads us to a discussion of the problem.

And here’s the problem. You may have seen this. There’s a sign in the locker room that says this, “Help wanted. Every athletic team should have a man who plays every position, a man who never makes an error, a man who knows just what the opposition is planning.” And here’s the point, “But so far, there’s been no way to get him to put down his popcorn and coke to come down out of the stands.”

And the discussion of this meme was you could hang that up in any locker room. You could hang it up in any school principal’s office. You could hang it up in any church because everybody who’s sitting and watching, some of them think they know everything.

But you see, here’s the point, friends, you may know everything. But if you don’t do anything with it, you are no help at all. And you could almost say that every problem that the church has, you can almost say that every problem that every church has, that any church has, is that people are watching from the stands, and they know what needs to be done. But they just won’t put their popcorn down and come out of the stands to play.

Friends, here’s the way Jesus wants the church to be. Everybody gets to play. Everybody gets to play. And everybody is needed.

If we look around us at our community, if we look around the state and our nation and the world, and if you see a problem and you want to live in a better world, please understand the reason that problem is there is people are watching instead of doing. Everybody is needed.

And God will work through everybody to bring about a better, holier, kinder world if we will begin to be those people who say, “Thy will be done,” not just with our mouths but with our feet and our hands … because, see, here’s the truth, here’s Michael Jordan. He’s a good ball player. But here’s the point for us, the church, to understand. When you walk out to do God’s will, God works through you. All you have to do is be willing. And the first part of that, of course, is to be willing to learn from God because God can use each one of us because as Zerubbabel was told in Zechariah 4:6, “It’s not by might, it’s not by power, but it’s by my spirit,” says the Lord of Hosts.

The nation of Israel was taken away into captivity into Babylon. They were prophesied to by the Prophet Daniel. But Zerubbabel was the person who led them back to Jerusalem and was told, “Rebuild the city. Rebuild the temple. Rebuild the nation.” But this point was made to that leader: “Victory is not going to come through your military power. Victory is not going to come through political might. It’s by my spirit that you will achieve the goals that God has given you.”

And friends, that’s still true for us today. It’s not by how pretty our building is, although we sure have a pretty one, don’t we? It’s not how beautiful the music is, although the music is beautiful. And it’s certainly not because of brilliant preaching. It’s by the Holy Spirit acting through God’s people including the preacher, including the musicians, and including all of us. It’s by the Spirit of God, and that’s what Pentecost means. It’s time for God to act, and we are the players.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly, a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind. By the way, if you’ve ever been close to a tornado, that’s the sound I’m thinking of. People tell me it sounds like the loudest freight train they ever heard. In my mind, that’s the sound from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind. And it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the spirit gave the mutterance.

Please don’t be distracted by the sound of the mighty wind. Please don’t be distracted by the little tongues of fire. Please don’t be distracted by the that words came out of their mouths praising God that they did not understand. But understand the important words are right there in verse 4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” That’s what’s important. When the Holy Spirit shows up, there’s not always the sound of a mighty wind. When the Holy Spirit shows up, God does different things. But what’s important is that people are filled with the Holy Spirit.

And this loud sound draws a crowd. The multitude came together and they were bewildered because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they are amazed and wondered saying, Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear each of us in his own native language? And the Book of Acts goes into detail about all the different people from different areas, and they recognize the language from their home, but what they hear them telling in our own tongues, what they hear is them telling the mighty works of God. And all were amazed and perplexed saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

Now, this is a characteristic thing for us to be aware of. When God begins to act in the Church, you and I will be bewildered. You know why? Because it won’t be like it’s always been done before. When God begins to be real and change our lives, all of a sudden people go, “We’ve never heard anything like this before.” By the way, they said the same thing to Jesus. When the Holy Spirit begins to act, it shakes people up and they are amazed, filled with wonderment, and they are bewildered. And they say, “What does this mean?”

Friends, the saddest thing is a Church where nobody’s amazed and nobody’s bewildered because nothing has happened for years. But this is a reality. When the Holy Spirit begins to act, people will be amazed.

And oh, by the way, there will always be critical people who would have an answer for everything, and this is what they were saying on Pentecost Sunday: They are filled with new wine. If the Holy Spirit fell on that Methodist Church in Kinmundy and amazing things began to happen, it would sure be wonderful … and I wouldn’t be upset if somebody thought it was because we were all drunk.

But here’s the point that Peter makes, 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day …” Peter obviously doesn’t hang out with a very rough crowd but I find it somewhat endearing and lovely. The 9 o’clock in the morning when our service begins at the same time that the Holy Spirit falls on the day of Pentecost. And Peter goes on to explain what causes them to be amazed and bewildered:

16 but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

Now what does that mean? To prophesy means that God talks to people through you -and most of the time with your words. When the Holy Spirit comes, God will begin to speak through God’s people. The primary characteristic of the Holy Spirit coming is that God’s people begin to speak as they are led by God. And Peter ends his sermon: And it shall be that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Now friends, I want to tell you that is some sermon. Because when they heard Peter’s words, they were cut to the heart, the Bible says. And they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent.” Remember how Jesus began to preach, repent? “And be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” And please pay close attention to these next words: “And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off … far off in miles, all the way to the village of Kinmundy, far off in time, throughout all the centuries of history, down to today.

The promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit is to everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him. And Peter testified with many other words and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” In other words, this conversation that he was having with people went on throughout the rest of that day.

And for those of us who like statistics, well, here’s your statistic: For those who received his word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls. 3,000 people became converted as a result of one sermon … Wait a minute. I’m sorry. It wasn’t because of Peter. It wasn’t because of Peter’s words. It wasn’t because of Peter’s sermon. Although I sure hope this sermon was as good as that one. It was because the Holy Spirit was working in the lives of people … because Jesus said, it’s the Holy Spirit who will bring the power for people to respond to witness.

120 people were in the Upper Room, familiar with Jesus, followers of Jesus.
3000 people came to the Lord.
The Church on the day of Pentecost has 3,120 members after one day.

I’m not asking you to be intimidated at the idea that 3000 people will come to church here next week. Let that sink in just for a minute – what if it actually happened, here? Where am I going to park? We may have to run the buses up and down the road so that all 3,000 people can fit in … Wait, where am I going to sit? Somebody will be sitting in my seat!

But I’ll tell you, friends, if the Holy Spirit begins to work through our Church– might not be 3,000 people, might not be 300 people, might not even be 30 people. But God will reach out through us to draw others toward God. This is what happened on the day of Pentecost. And this is what God wants to do through us still today.

Now, I do think we also need to give a little bit of credit to Jesus because Jesus prepared the people for this for three years of his ministry. He walked up and down, from Galilee down to Jerusalem, preaching. Every little village had someone in it whom Jesus had healed. Every little village had someone in it who had spent time listening to his words. And so Jesus laid the groundwork. And friends, if you stack wood carefully for three years, you’ll be able to light a great fire with a single match.

So Jesus got them ready by doing what Jesus did. So remember those words, “As the Father sent me … Remember what I did for three years? I’m now going to send you to do the same thing for three years,” and then three more years, and 30 years, and 300 years right on down till this year, in this place, we are still doing what Jesus told us to do. And that lays a foundation.

But here’s the fact. If God works through everyone, all the way, there is nothing in a Church that limits it from growing in numbers. The limitation is always because we feel our Church is something where we watch rather than a Christian faith being something that we do.

Now, it’s also true when the Holy Spirit begins to stir things up, there is going to be noise, there is going to be chaos, there’s going to be criticism. Somebody will come up to pastor Dave and say, “Pastor Dave, I wrote a song this week. Can I play it?” And pastor Dave will say, “Okay.” Because Church is not about us in leadership controlling what God wants to do and work through you. Church is about us setting you free, so the Holy Spirit can do what the Holy Spirit wants to do.

In addition to that, I’d remind you – we’ve talked about this all spring – conversion follows conversation. And as we talk about what the Holy Spirit wants us to do, the Holy Spirit becomes more powerful to convert what we go from the way we have always done it before to what God would like to do here and now. So we need to be talking about these things.

The great Methodist missionary, E. Stanley Jones, said that the Book of Acts has the wrong title. In most Bibles, it says, The Acts of the Apostles. You know what the word Apostle means? It means sent one. Friends, please understand, all of us are the sent ones. God is sending all of us. But E. Stanley Jones said, “The book should be entitled The Acts Of The Holy Spirit Through The Apostles.”

And now, today friends, God wants to work through us.

Michael Jordan said, “Well, most of us are in our 60s.” Those were my younger days. But God’s not finished and God is not limited by my age. If I’m willing, I will find that God can work.

And so here’s the question I’d like to suggest to you. As you leave Church today, consider this: Did the Holy Spirit show up in our worship? Because you know the answer that we want to hear is yes. Consider as you pray through the day before you fall asleep at night, in the way I interacted with people, was I sensitive to the Holy Spirit? And did the Holy Spirit ever do something through me this week, or this day?

And I’ll be honest with you, when you notice it, it will be a tiny little thing, but just a tiny little seed that falls to the ground, it’ll have a powerful result if you give it time. Because the question for the season of Pentecost is, “What can God do through me?”

So perhaps these three questions could be part of your devotions.

“Today, was I connected to the coach?” Because just as Phil Jackson had things to say to his team, Jesus Christ has things to say to us. “Was I connected to the coach today?”

And “What did I learn?” What is the coach trying to show me?

And then because players always play better when you keep score, “What did the Holy Spirit do through me today?”

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, thank you for the day of Pentecost so long ago. But help us to understand that you do not do these things just once, but you continue to have days of Pentecost throughout all of history in churches all across the world. Whenever revival breaks out, it’s because God begins to act through the people by the power of the Holy Spirit to convert and draw people to Him. And so, Lord Jesus, we pray that we would have our own version, our own experience of the Holy Spirit coming and dwelling within us, and growing within us, and then flowing out through us. Lord, we pray that our Church would have our own experience of a season of Pentecost. And we ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home" | Leave a comment

Sermon May 29, 2022: Rerun, Part 3: “Okay. Let’s roll.”  (Eastertide 6, Memorial Day)

Image by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/714835401

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3hUcCVr9IL

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: (St. Teresa of Avila:)

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which   He looks
Compassion on this world…
Yours are the feet with which he walks   to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


HYMN We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations
We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations – Harvest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwFzG9diulI

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − Almighty God, through Jesus Christ you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we, who celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may, by the renewing of your Spirit arise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Onward Christian Soldiers
Bill & Gloria Gaither – Onward Christian Soldiers/We’re Marching to Zion (Medley) (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vua7LwiAQ0

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Rerun, Part 3: “Okay. Let’s roll.” 
Acts 1:7-14, Mark 4:26-29, Matthew 9:36-38
Series: Instructions for Resurrection and Revival

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

Acts 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away; 13 and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Mark 4:26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, 27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN 572 Pass It On
Pass It On – TheNCrew
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovdKx6lQ8OM

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

And as we are called by Jesus Christ to march forward, let me remind you – I’ve shared this verse with you multiple times through Lent in this Easter season – Here’s what Jesus tells us that we are marching toward: John 20:21 “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” In other words, just as Jesus was sent by God, now Jesus is sending us.

Let me tell you three stories. What we’re wanting to do is to explain what this means. Because now that Jesus has ascended into heaven, you and I are the people who are going to do God’s work because Christ has chosen this — I might want to talk him out of this when I think about my faults and my weaknesses. But Christ has chosen to work through people like you and I. We are now the feet. We are now the hands. We are now the eyes. We are now Christ’s body.

Now, what does that look like? And if you look at the words across the bottom, they explain it all: “To each is given … the manifestation of the Spirit … for the common good.” People are going to see the Holy Spirit show up and act. That’s the manifestation, the revealing that the Holy Spirit is at work. And how does that happen?

Let me tell you three stories. One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Johnny was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, “Good morning, son.” “Good morning, pastor,” replied the young man focused on the plaque. “Sir, what is this?” Johnny asked. “Well, son, these are all the people who have died in the service,” replied the pastor. Soberly, they stood together staring at the large plaque. And little Johnny’s voice barely broke the silence when he asked quietly, “Pastor, was– all those people that died, was that the 9 o’clock service or the 10:45 service?”

See friends, here’s the truth, there is a cost in following Jesus. There is a cost in following Jesus. But in the United States of America, thank God– usually, thank God, people do not serve in the army of the Lord and lose their life. They do not die. There is a cost in following Jesus. But for us, it’s usually not the cost of our life. On Memorial Day weekend, we remember those who gave their all. And I would hope that they would inspire us to also give our lives.

Second story. A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day and the preacher was standing at the door, as he always is, to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside the pastor said to him, “You need to join the army of the Lord.” My friend immediately replied, “I’m already in the army of the Lord, pastor.” The pastor said, “If you’re in the army of the Lord, how come I don’t see you at service except at Christmas and Easter?” And the man immediately replied, “Pastor, that’s because I’m in the Secret Service. And you don’t see me because it’s a secret.” Well, I’ll be honest with you, friends, there is no Secret Service. There is no Secret Service. There is not meant to be a Secret Service. What is meant to be is people like you and me doing what Jesus told us to do, which is you go out there and you love your neighbor, not supposed to be a secret. But there is a temptation for us to think that what we ought to do is serve Christ in some kind of secret way.

And let me tell you the story of this picture; this is a Chick tract. Back in the early 70s’, I was a student at Eastern Illinois University. And occasionally, you would walk through the library. You would walk through some of the public buildings at the university, and you would see one of these little booklets. Now, let me explain to you what it is. It’s actually a comic book. And here’s the truth about comic books. There’s just a whole lot of people, they see a comic book, they pick it up and they start to read it.

This was in a restroom at a gas station in Highland, Illinois. I hadn’t seen one in years. I did not pick it up and read it, but the person who left it there wanted to do God’s work without ever actually being in contact with another person. One of the worst forms of these: I saw some in St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia once. They’re actually printed to look like a $100 bill. And you pick it up and on the back, it’s all about how you can become converted. But I don’t know how anyone can pick up that phony $100 bill and not think that they’re being made a fool of.
Back in my freshman year of college, I actually knew someone who would buy things like these and sneak into the grocery store and put them inside all the magazines … because the idea was “I can do God’s work without actually getting involved with people.”

And that’s not the way it works. There is no Secret Service. If you and I are going to be witnesses, we will probably need to interact with someone. You heard me you say with our neighbors. You notice I’m wearing a shirt that has Kinmundy Church on it – and genuinely, some people might think that’s the uniform of the Secret Service: All I really need to do is to put the church’s name on a shirt and walk around town to be a witness. Well, some of us are so good-looking that might work! But that’s certainly not me. If I’m going to be a witness to Jesus Christ that He’s alive and can help people, I’m probably going to need to get personally involved.

And in fact, that’s what the Bible talks about. Acts 1:8, Jesus says these words to the disciples just before He rises up into heaven, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you, having received that power, shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, where you are, in Judea and beyond that, in Samaria and beyond that, and on out to the ends of the Earth.” But you need to wait till the power comes.

I thought it was very amusing when somebody pointed out on Ascension Day, which, by the way, was last Thursday. It’s that many days before the day of Pentecost. What they said was happening on Ascension Day is Jesus rose up into heaven because from now on, He was going to, quote, “work from home.” And you know how he can work from home? Because the choice of God is to work through you and me and God is going to give us the power to do that work. And here’s what it looks like:

Matthew 9:36, “When He, Jesus, saw the crowds, He had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.'” You see, there are people who want to come to Christ. There are people who desperately need Jesus’ help to live this life. The problem is there aren’t enough people to go out and bring them in. And so Jesus – look at verse 38 – asked people to pray. There are only two places in the New Testament where Jesus asks for you to pray for something specific. The first one is to pray for your enemies and those who persecute you. And this is the second. “Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into His harvest.” Not the Secret Service, but real people. Real people.

And that’s because this is true. I’ve shared this with you in previous weeks. Sociologist Rodney Stark, all the way back in 1965, proved scientifically through sociological research that true religious conversion, conversion that lasts, is the result of a close relationship with a genuine, caring, practicing Christian. And the reason that people are not coming to Christ – because the scripture says that people are ready – is because many of them do not personally know anyone who is a genuine, caring, practicing Christian.

Well, if you’re willing to serve, the Holy Spirit empowers that sort of relationship with people in your micro-mission field; the Holy Spirit will work on them. You don’t need to wear a Christian shirt; you don’t need to preach a little sermon; you don’t need to hand them a piece of paper. If you just get close enough, the Holy Spirit will begin to work and change their hearts. We’re all grieving because of the shooting that occurred in Texas earlier this week. How sad it is that the Holy Spirit didn’t get a chance to work in the life of one family who so desperately needed God’s presence, and so much sadness came from that.

Somebody might say, “Pastor, what do you mean, ‘mission field’?” Well, friends, each one of us is a missionary. But I want to tell you what your mission field is. It’s quite small; it’s very doable. I want to suggest to you that your “micro mission field” are the ten or twelve people that you talk to on a regular basis this week. Now, some of you are really extroverted. You walk up to 100 people a week and say, “How are you?” Well, you’ve got a big mission field, then. But the people you talk to are people that the Holy Spirit can influence simply because you’re spending time with them, and that brings about a change.

Now, interestingly enough, in Mark, Chapter Four, what Jesus points out is there’s basically just two things that we do. And he said, “The Kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground.” Now, those of you who are farmers, I know there’s a lot more to farming than just going out and scattering the seed just everywhere, but this is what the scripture says. “The Kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and then leave, and should sleep and rise, night and day. And without the farmer doing anything, the seed should sprout and grow. He knows not how.”

So here’s the first thing you do in your micro-mission field: you just go out there and spread the seed. You just go out there and spread the seed. The seed can be all kinds of things. It might just you being a person who smiles and shows that you care. “The Earth produces of itself first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain and the ear.” If you go out there, and you let the Holy Spirit work, it will happen. Oh, by the way, you know it changes colors when it’s ready for the harvest? “But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle because the harvest is come, and those people are gathered in … because here’s the principle, friends.

The Holy Spirit is working in the hearts and minds of people all around us to say to them, “You need the Lord. You need Church.” And when the Holy Spirit gets through to them, you know what? They’ll go to Church with the caring person who’s touched their life.

So here’s the reality. You’ve seen this slide before, too, Ephesians 2:10, for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand. You see, the Holy Spirit goes out there and creates opportunities for you to interact with people. The Holy Spirit gets everything ready. All you really have to do is show up and let God work. Because everyone you have a conversation with between this Sunday and next Sunday, it is not an accident that God has brought them into your path. And at the very least you can say a prayer for them, but quite often they’re there so that you can say something to them.

And with regard to that, please don’t feel overwhelmed because it’s the Holy Spirit that does the heavy lifting. The Holy Spirit does the work in somebody’s hearts. You and I don’t need to preach, we don’t need to nag, we don’t need to criticize, we need to let the Holy Spirit do the work. Our task is to be present and let God work.

Now, here’s what that feels like. You’ll be talking to somebody and all of a sudden you’ll have this sense that you should say something, or you may have a sense that you shouldn’t say anything. You’ll have a sense that you should do something, or maybe you’ll have a sense that you shouldn’t do anything. But I think it’s wise for you and I to assume that what’s happening to us is from God.

So at 5:30 this morning when I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed two hours before it was supposed to happen, I said to myself, “Well, it’s not the first time the sermon came true in my life. I must need to get up and pray for somebody,” and I got up and did my morning routine and I made my coffee and I took a drinks, and then I actually prayed for about five minutes. I had no idea who I was praying for. But you know something – it doesn’t matter. If you’re willing to do what you feel led by God to do, you’ve done your part. And apparently at 6 o’clock in the morning when I would much rather have been asleep, that was my part. It might happen to you tomorrow because, you see, here’s what’s happening.

You’ve seen this slide; this is a centering prayer. When a person out there prays, “Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more of the center of my life.” When a person out there turns toward Jesus Christ … each of them is given a person to walk with them, a person who will guide them to all that is good, a person who will listen, and a person who will help people turn away from all that is not good. And in that sharing, in that encouragement, the Holy Spirit will become visible. God gives to people who turn toward Jesus, a person who will be there to teach them Christ’s ways and help form in them Christ’s nature. This is how the Holy Spirit will show up. You’ll remember a Bible verse that seems to fit that person’s situation. It’ll just come to you.

But what people need when they’re turning toward Christ is someone to guide them. In addition to that, the full verse says to each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Every single person here has a way that God chooses to work through them. Some people are amazing singers. Not me. I don’t know who this young lady is in the picture, but she has the gift of being in charge of the meat. If you’re trying to decide who in the kitchen ought to do what, you want the person who has the gift of meat to be cooking the meat.
Now, you laugh, but I kid you not. If all of us are doing what we’re really good at, everything’s going to be perfect. Furthermore, I’ll be honest with you. You see the woman behind her washing the pots and pans? You don’t want me to wash the pots and pans. I miss lots of stuff. Thank God for people who can see the dirt! Because you see, if that’s you, the way you help people is through your cleaning. Or maybe the way you help people is through your cooking. There’s someone in this room. I won’t tell you who it is, but their gift is to wander around town and look for things that need doing and people that need help. That’s a wonderful gift!

And every single one of you has some kind of specialty whereby you are kind and good and help people. And you should be doing that, whatever that is. To each of us is given a way that the Holy Spirit shows up in the things that we do for the common good.

And finally, here it is, friends. Since the commandment from God is for us to love our neighbors, that means when our neighbors need us, we need to notice. And if we’re willing to be in the Lord’s army, to be willing to work, to be willing to let God work through us so that people around us can come to Jesus, we will be willing to allow God to work through us to redeem the whole neighborhood. Because when someone is turning to Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ gives them a person who will help them come home.

That little boy in the picture, standing on the roof of a car, isn’t he cute? Don’t miss the fact that his father is keeping him safe and holding him steady. Friends, for people around us to come to Christ, they need someone to be like that in their life. And that person will help them to understand what it means to be forgiven of their sins, to understand what it means for Jesus to be their shepherd and their Savior and their Lord. And I don’t know of anything more noble or honorable for any of us to do than to be that sort of person in the life of someone who’s coming to Jesus Christ.

Let’s understand this. There’s no need for drama. There’s no need for melodrama. Martyrdom is not needed. Sacrifice isn’t needed. But presence is needed, to be the kind of person that the Holy Spirit works through so that people around us come to Jesus. So the disciples are getting ready to do it all over again. Everything that Jesus did before, now Jesus is going to do through them. Friends, it’s the same with us. Will you be willing to let the Holy Spirit work through you?

You see those words at the bottom of the screen? “Okay. Let’s roll.” I don’t know if you remember them, but at 911, there was a plane, a jet airplane. I can’t remember if it was headed to the Pentagon or headed to the White House. I’m sorry, I’m getting upset. A man on that plane called his girlfriend or his wife, told her what was going on, and said, “Some of us are going to do something about it.” And before he hung up, she heard the voice say, “Okay, let’s roll.” Friends, if you want to live in a different world, if you want to live in a better world, if you want to live in a world of love and joy and peace, the church has this same opportunity. Let’s roll.

Lord Jesus, it seems like such a simple thing … instead of ignoring the people around us, to pay attention to them. Instead of ignoring our neighbors, Lord, to notice and take a moment to say hello and ask how they are. Instead of avoiding our neighbors, to have a conversation. And perhaps in that conversation, there’s a lesson or an observation or even a scripture that we can share like a seed that falls on the Earth. But, Lord, I pray that you would work through your church as you chose, that you would work through the people of your church as you chose. And I pray that you would find us willing. And I ask that in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home" | Leave a comment

Sermon May 22, 2022: Rerun, Part 2: Three Lessons (Eastertide 5)

Image by artesitalia via Pixabay.

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/712483744

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3h3f0VrgoV

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: (St. Teresa of Avila:)

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which   He looks
Compassion on this world…
Yours are the feet with which he walks   to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


HYMN 469 Jesus Is All The World To Me
Jesus is All The World to Me ~ Mercy’s Well ~ lyric video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnQxWqg-NDE

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − Almighty God, through Jesus Christ you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we, who celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may, by the renewing of your Spirit arise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 557 Blest Be The Tie That Binds
Blest Be The Tie That Binds – Gaither
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUUE9agdb_A

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Rerun, Part 2: Three Lessons
John 21
Series: Instructions for Resurrection and Revival

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 

21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN 130 God Will Take Care Of You
The Oak Ridge Boys – God Will Take Care of You (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ORXnfjQAXA

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Today we’re looking at John, chapter 21, which seems to be an unexpected experience. It is the last appearance of Jesus, the resurrected Jesus, between Easter and the Ascension Day, when Jesus rises up to heaven. You kind of wonder … why? Perhaps there was a reason why Jesus needed to make this appearance … to give a little bit of a course correction to things that are going on.

When you think about it, you have the Apostle Peter, who, even though he denied Jesus three times, he still considers himself the leader of the Church. And I have this feeling, I guess because I might be the same way, I have this feeling that in the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost, Peter is busy making plans. He’s busy forming strategies, because in his mind, Peter needs to tell people how it needs to happen so that God’s will can be done. And perhaps down deep inside, Peter thinks if I’m not there to tell them what to do, they will completely fail. So I just find myself wondering what’s on Peter’s mind that would require Jesus to step into history to straighten him out.

Well, here’s the first thing, is there going to be enough money? Back in Luke, chapter five, we had a similar example of what is about to happen. And I think that Peter was really worried that if he followed Jesus, would the bills get paid? Would his family be provided for? I understand that.

Oddly enough, my father was a math teacher. And every now and then I would get up in the morning and I would find him drinking coffee at the dining room table surrounded by little slips of paper. And I would say, “Dad, what are you doing?” He said, “Well, I’m just calculating out how long it will be before your mother and I completely run out of money, and then we’ll have nothing to live on.” And he never did tell me the date. I’m quite sure it was far into the future, but he would do this repeatedly. And he’d calculate in inflation rates. And he’d calculate in the taxes. And he would work out all the math to know just how long it was before he would be completely broke.

And I wonder if that was on Peter’s mind. You also have to figure that the times when Peter denied Jesus are also on his mind, a great betrayal. I find myself– anxiety can overwhelm me when I go back into the past and I revisit moments of great tragedy in my life, especially moments when I messed up. And it’s strange how years later emotionally, I take responsibility for what I’ve done. And I feel the pain. Maybe that’s on Peter’s mind. I’m not sure. Maybe Jesus needs to straighten them out with regard to this.

But I am pretty sure of this, the reason an orchestra has a conductor is the conductor is going to keep the time with the baton. The very first thing to do with the baton is to knock it on the podium to get the orchestra’s attention. And then the baton gives the time to the entire orchestra. And the other hand points to the trumpets and says, “Now it’s your turn.” The other hand points to the woodwind section and says, “A little louder.” The other hand directs the people in the orchestra because the conductor is watching what everyone is doing.

And because the conductor is doing that, you know what you can do? You can pay attention to your part — if you watch the conductor, and if you look at your music and play the music. When I was in junior high, I played the big string bass in the orchestra. You had to pay attention to the music. You know what would happen if you played the big string bass? The music would tell you, “You’re going to do rest for 68 measures.” So we bass players would stand there not doing anything for 68 measures. Do you understand how scary it is to wonder if you’ve lost count? Well, you see, you don’t have to worry because the conductor is paying attention.

And if you watch the conductor and if you play the music, your part will be done perfectly, but you have to focus. And I wonder if it’s possible that Peter is focused on taking the place of the conductor because he assumes that he’s got to keep everybody in line. Oh, friends, Jesus is always the conductor.

Now, by the way, why is this important? Well, I am the pastor. I have been to graduate school. I have had experience in this work for 42 years, full time after graduating from seminary. If you want to, you can refer to me as Dr. Kueker. Is it any wonder that sometimes my ego says to myself, “I need to be ready to conduct the Church”? Because you see, I think every pastor goes through what Peter’s going through. I think every pastor thinks that it’s up to them to save the day when the oboe section goes wrong. And sometimes, pastors lose their focus on what Jesus wants them to do because they’re trying to develop this giant strategy to make sure that everybody else does what they’re supposed to do. I wonder if that’s possible. Whatever it was, Jesus felt he had to intervene, and so we have this appearance, this resurrection appearance.

John 21:3: some of the disciples, at least some of them, maybe not all of them, but some of them are in Galilee. And Simon Peter says to them, “I am going fishing.” Now, please keep in mind they did not fish for fun; these were commercial fishermen. They said to him, “We will go with you.” And they went out, and they got into the boat. But that night, they caught nothing. Now just a moment to remind us of how they fished: they would row the boat out in a giant circle, and they would feed the net out one side of the boat, and they would make this giant circle, and then they’d pull in the net, and what was in the net was everything in that circle. They did this one time, and there was nothing in the net. And they did this another time, and there was nothing in the net. In fact, what it says is that they did this all night, and there was nothing in the net, nothing in the net.

They did this all night, and there was nothing in the net. Verse four, “Just as day was breaking, that silvery light that makes it difficult for you to see the details of somebody’s face. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. And Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you any fish?’ They answered him, ‘No,'”

You can imagine that that was not a cheerful, hopeful no; it wasn’t a very happy no at all, probably. And then perhaps, if you are a commercial fisherman, the very worst possible thing happens: some stranger on the beach knows exactly what you’re doing wrong. So the voice comes across the water, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” Now, if you’re a professional fisherman, I think at this point in time you are just shaking your head: “Who does this person think he is? The other side of the boat?”

But for some reason, they were willing, if nothing else than to show this amateur how wrong he was. They cast the net on the right side of the boat, and now they were not able to haul it in for the quantity of fish. As I mentioned, this had happened before in Luke chapter five. We’ve been talking about the fact that they are going to relive moments that they have already lived with Jesus over and over and over again; it’s a rerun.

And so, verse seven, “The disciple whom Jesus loved, John, said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.'” They fish without clothes on because, of course, it’s really wet. Peter pulls his robe on, jumps in the water, and swims to shore. The others, dragging the net of fish, make their way to the beach because it’s Jesus; he instantly becomes the priority. And when they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish lying on it already cooking and bread. And Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now, none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them. And so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

What could be the reason why Jesus did this? Perhaps it’s to teach Simon the lesson that if you need funding to do God’s work, maybe you don’t need to fish so much as you need to turn to me for help. Maybe that’s the first lesson.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me” – note the words here – “more than these.” Do you think you’re superior in how much you love me compared to everybody else here? Do you still think that you’re the one who loves me the most? “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” And Peter’s gotten a little humble. He says, “Yes, Lord.” He not only answers the question, but he says this, you are the one who knows, “You know that I love you.” And Jesus says, in effect, now that I have your attention, “Feed my lambs.”

The second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” No longer it’s in comparison to the others, “Do you love me?” And Peter says to him, “Yes, Lord.” You know. “You know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

He said to him the third time – some people think this is one for each denial, and that could very well be true; but, it also might simply be that Peter needs to hear it three times in order to get it – “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” I mean, do you really love me? Peter was grieved because Jesus said to him, the third time, do you love me? And Peter said to him, “Lord, you know everything.” I’m no longer arguing with you. I’m no longer trying to prove to you that I’m right and you’re wrong, which is what Peter did on the night when he said, I will never deny you. “Lord, you know everything. And you know that I love you!” And Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

There are a couple of little verses that come next that basically said, as you get older, you’re not going to do what you want to do. You’re not going to get to choose everything that you do, you’re going to need to follow because other people are going to control your life. You will not be the one in control.

And then Peter, ever the person who’s distracted, looks around him at the other people. You remember, it’s my theory that Peter thinks he’s the leader. It’s my theory that Peter thinks he’s the senior pastor of this group. And Peter sees the other disciple, John, and he says to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” I love the way the King James Version puts it, “What shall this man do?” Lord, tell me what this man will do — And then I’ll get on his back and make sure he does it!

And the response that Jesus has is, “If it’s my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” And then come the words that started it all so many years before, three years before, “Follow me!” Peter, you can stop worrying about making John do what John is supposed to do. What you need to do is follow me,” Jesus says. “You can stop assuming that the church will fail if so-and-so doesn’t do what they’re supposed to do. The failure is going to happen, Peter, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. It’s time for you to mind your own business. And what is that, Peter? You follow me.

Ray Stedman is the one who originated this concept. What Peter needs to understand is that he’s part of the orchestra and Jesus is still conducting the orchestra. I’m so thankful for the privilege of being your pastor. But I’ll be honest with you, Jesus Christ is the pastor of this church. And I will never fail if I follow him and his direction. Jesus Christ is the Lord. He doesn’t need me to step up and take charge. He is in charge. Jesus Christ is the conductor. And what I need to do is watch the conductor and stop watching everyone else and worrying if they are going to fail because, of course, nothing could lead more quickly to me losing my focus and me being the one that makes a mistake.

And of course, what applies to me applies to everyone else. If we all will watch the conductor, if we all will watch Jesus Christ and follow his direction – that’s what it means to follow me – we’ll be able to focus on our music and do what we’re supposed to do when we are directed. And all of a sudden, everyone will play together perfectly … if we let the director be the director, if we let the conductor be the conductor. “What shall this man do?” Jesus says, “Peter, that’s between me and him … you already know what you’re supposed to do.

And you see, I think that’s the second lesson. “Yes, Peter, you did deny me, but that’s because you were focused on the wrong things. I need need to refocus you on what’s important. What’s important, Peter, is you need to feed the sheep. You’re the sheep feeder. What’s important, Peter, is you need to focus on the lambs. What’s important, Peter, is you need to tend the sheep, which involves a lot more than just food.”

All too often, when leaders, when Church leaders, when pastors, when corporate leaders, when your boss at work, whoever your boss at work might have been or might be, when they start thinking strategy, they lose focus on the people. In a business, that’s customers. In a public school, that’s students. In a church, well, that’s the sheep. And I think what Jesus is needing to do with Peter, probably needing to do with us, probably needing to do with the leadership of every church everywhere is we need to refocus on the people we’re connected to.

Jesus says, “How wonderful all the plans that you have, but you need to focus on the people.” Oh, it’s great, that SALT potluck, that Cunningham bus trip, that Annual Conference that you’re getting ready to go to, all those important things, but don’t forget to focus on the people. Because every church I know that’s gotten into trouble has lost its focus on the people that Jesus loved enough to go to the cross, to die for them. Lost the focus on the people that Jesus loved enough to rise from the dead so that they could walk in newness of life.

And of course, where focus frequently gets lost is it is dragged over to focus on the budget. Now, Lord knows you can’t pay the bills unless there’s money in the budget. There are things you cannot do. You need to make certain that the resources are there. But on this day, on the beach at the Sea of Galilee, I think Jesus is wanting to point out to Peter, “If you’re doing my work, I will provide you with what you need.”

Now, we all know that financial difficulties come, and we all know it’s a reality that the world changes and the markets change and businesses change and economics change, and sometimes, individual people have terrible economic difficulties. So I’m not saying that everyone is protected from those difficult things.

But I am saying that I think that Jesus wants to say to Peter, “With regard to you being able to do what I want you to do, I will provide.” With regard to what this church needs to do to please God, I think that God wants to say to this church that God will provide for us to be able to do God’s work. And to be honest, God has. Nonetheless, our minds tend to drift to these earthly things, when really, instead, we should watch for the conductor to indicate to us that it’s time for us to play our part. And because of that middle lesson, more than likely, what God will ask of you is to do something with a person that will allow the love of Jesus Christ to flow into their life through you.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, Peter has 50 days to think. And I think that with those 50 days, he’s thought himself into a corner. He’s created a problem that’s not really a problem. He’s created a problem that he thinks he needs to solve … but he doesn’t need to solve it. He’s starting to make plans when what he really needs to do is pay attention to you. Because you, in the moment that it’s time for him to act, you as the conductor will give him all the plans that he needs when you ask him to play his part.
Lord, help us not to wander too far into the areas of strategy and planning and visioning and all those things that we love to do when we’re avoiding the actual work of loving people. It’s so much more fun, Lord, for some of us, like me, to make plans than actually do what the plans involve. But help us, Lord, as a church, not to think it all depends on us … but to realize that if we play our part, everything will be done well. Help us, Lord, not to get distracted by the plans we’ve made, by the activities we’ve scheduled. Help us to notice and focus on the people who will be present. And finally, Lord, help us not to worry about budgets and bills but to deeply have faith and believe that you will provide us with everything we need to do your will. And we ask that in faith, that you would help us to learn these lessons well. And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home" | Leave a comment

Sermon May 8, 2022: Rerun, Part 1: Let Jesus Nurture You (Eastertide 3, Mother’s Day)

Images via Pixabay and Amr Idris MD

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/707374871

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3hi03VrcQy

———————————————–

If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: (St. Teresa of Avila:)

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which   He looks
Compassion on this world…
Yours are the feet with which he walks   to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


HYMN Jesus Loves Me
Jesus Loves Me (with lyrics) performed by Rosemary Siemens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO-XbSaCX4c

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − Almighty God, through Jesus Christ you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we, who celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may, by the renewing of your Spirit arise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 445 Happy the Home When God Is There
Happy Our Home When God Is There
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFYc9MICVCE

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Rerun, Part 1: Let Jesus Nurture You
Matt 4:19-20, John 10:10-11, Matt 11: 28-30, John 13:34-35, John 20:19-23, Matt 28:16-20.
Series: Instructions for Resurrection and Revival

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

Matt 4:19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Matt 11: 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Matt 28:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN O How I Love Jesus
Carrie Underwood – Oh How I Love Jesus (lyrics)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Plf4djQMn8

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Mother’s Day: Let me ask you a question that reveals a lot about you. What do you like to do for fun? And around our house, a lot of times it’s this: reruns.

Many, many years ago – about 15, 16 years ago – I was in a hotel room with a friend of mine. We’d gone to a workshop in Des Moines, Iowa. And he said, “Oh, Dave, you’ve got to watch this TV show with me.” He would never miss it. And that was the first time I saw an episode of The West Wing. And I liked it so much. I said to my friend, “How can I see all of these?” And he says, “It’s easy. Just join Netflix.”

Netflix is full of reruns. And this was back in the days when they mailed you the DVD, and you mailed it back, and then they mailed you another one. And I remember working my way through every episode of The West Wing. Oh, and every episode of NCIS. And Kim and I have done that again, repeatedly. Our days have been brightened with laughter from reruns: from Friends, from The Big Bang Theory, from Young Sheldon. Our hearts have been stirred up by stories of families like Downton Abbey. (It’s a little harder for me to stay awake during that one.) And then something I need to find and watch again, The Vicar of Dibley, if you ever heard that brilliant comedy about what it’s like to be the first woman pastor in a small town in England.

But think about reruns, especially the way Netflix does them. You don’t have to wait seven days. You can go from one part of the story to the next, to the next, and relive every moment: the happy highs and wonderful days; and you can hold your breath to get through the tough days. But that’s the way reruns are. They bring back to life something we’ve seen before.

Let’s talk about Mother’s Day because Mother’s Day is going to be a day when you’ll be enjoying your own personal family reruns. The memories will come back of the happy days and the difficult days, with all their emotions. That’s what Mother’s Day is – reruns.

But underlying that is a very deep human need, which is that we are born – I think it’s fair to say we are created this way by God – we are born with a deep need to be loved with a love that is unconditional, with a love that is nurturing, with a love that is full of affirmation. Mothers look into their baby’s eyes and say, “You are so beautiful,” even when they’re not. And they look at their children’s behavior and say, “You are so wonderful,” even when we’re not.

And I do have to be honest, not every mother is perfect, nor can every day be a perfect day. Sometimes this nurturing love comes from someone else. Sometimes it’s a grandparent. One of the most beautiful ways our culture is changing is more and more fathers are loving children with this kind of love. It used to be dad would go off to the coal mines before the children were awake and would come home exhausted after the children were asleep. But now many fathers spend more time with their children. We all need this kind of mothering deeply. Psychologists have found that it’s a significant difference in the quality of life of a child if they are loved this deeply in those very early days.

Let me mention to you someone you may have never heard of, Julian of Norwich, who in the 1400s was an anchoress. You’ve probably never heard of that. But she was a nun in England who entered what they called her cell, this little room where she prayed and lived her entire adult life after the age of 30 or so. This was during the days of the Black Plague. They assume that she lost her husband due to the plague. She lost her children due to the plague. And she dedicated her life to prayer and to pray for people. And there was this little window in the room built into the church where people could come by, and she could pray with them, and she could advise them. And she spent her life thinking about what it meant for God to love people. And you know one of the conclusions she came to? We are loved by God, the Trinity, but the person of the Trinity that loves us with this nurturing, affirming, unconditional love that we talk about with regard to mothers, the person who loves us in that way is Jesus. Jesus loves us with a love that is like a mother’s love.

This has been studied. It’s really quite interesting. Lloyd Silverman and Joel Weinberger in 1985, they were researching what are called subliminal messages. That’s where you’re watching a little presentation, and a phrase flickers on the screen just for a second, too quickly for you to consciously read it. And they’ve experimented with these subliminal messages. Which ones relax people when they’re upset, which ones help students do better on tests, which ones help schizophrenics with their mental illness.

And what they found, ironically, is the most powerful subliminal message is this:

Mommy and I are one.

It’s been proven over and over again in successive studies. There’s something about the idea that you and your mom are okay, and that you are loved by your mother, that just empowers us. And you know what else they found? if you don’t get along with your mother, if you had a mother who maybe wasn’t so wonderful, it’s even more powerfully beneficial … because this is a yearning that’s inside of our soul.

And you know how it is, friends, over the years, the mother who took care of us eventually becomes someone that we parent, that we have to take care of. And that’s always reminded me of this Psalm. There comes a point in time where our father and mother can no longer do what parents would do. And this verse in Psalms 27:10 KJV … When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

I think we’re created by God to transfer our need to be loved unconditionally in this way onto God over time – who will always be able to love us in this way. And what Julian of Norwich says to us, “It is Jesus, it is Jesus.”

So let me ask you to take a look at some of the reruns of the life of Jesus on this Mother’s Day – so that you can sense Jesus loving us with this kind of love that is so healing and helpful.

On Easter Sunday night, Jesus is with the disciples. He asked them to touch his body. He says, “Peace be with you.” And then he gives them four instructions for how to live in the resurrected life.

Jesus said to them again, Number one: “Peace be with you.”

Number two, this is the rerun, “As the Father has sent me even so, I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

And #4: If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any–

Anyhow, as I was pointing out, when Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you,” he’s telling the disciples, “Your ministry in this Easter season is going to be one of reruns. You’re going to go and do the same things we’ve already done. And if it’s a difficult day, you know it’ll get better. If it’s a wonderful day, you know it’ll be more wonderful …” because the disciples are literally asked to relive again and again and again the three years they spent with Jesus. As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you.

Verse 22, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,” #3, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” And then #4, verse 23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

And so the life of Jesus should be repeated for us … as reruns.

Think back to that time in your life where you heard his voice say to you, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” The mothers who love us unconditionally needed Jesus to take them up in his arms and love them first. The mothers who nurtured us were loved and nurtured by Jesus because – remember, Jesus said, “As the Father sent me, even so, I send you.”

Another high point in a rerun, Jesus says, Matthew 11:28, “Come to me–“ – by the way, that’s the same Greek word that’s used. Follow me –“come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden” – have you felt like that recently?- “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When Jesus says to the disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you,” He says to them that they will say these words to others who will learn from them just what they learned from Jesus. You see, it’s reruns.

Another loving memory: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came,” Jesus said, “that they may have life and have it abundantly.” And so you and I will be saying to other people, Jesus came so that you could have life and have it abundantly. So hang on and hope! And we’ll give that nurturing, hopeful, reassuring, unconditional love to people who are in desperate places. Jesus came to show them what it meant to have a shepherd as the Father has sent to Jesus. Even so, Jesus will send us to show people what it is like to be watched over by the Good Shepherd.

Another episode. How could we miss this one? In the Upper Room, Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. And then he says these words to them, “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another. Even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Not love one another in what you think people need. But the commandment is that you love one another … the way I showed you to love … by the way that I loved you. And as we love people the way Jesus loved us, the truth is they will come to Jesus as well. They will find the same love. Because you see, it’s reruns. We go on to love people the way Jesus loved us.

Right on up to the last verse in the Book of Matthew. We call it the Great Commission. They’re completely prepared. Why? Because they’re going to go out and do with people what Jesus did with them. It’s like reruns. With some of these shows, have you gotten to the point yet to where you can say the dialogue along with the actors? Friends, if we’re that familiar with what Jesus said and did, Jesus can tell people about his love with our voice.

Look at verse 20 there in the red. What’s the main thing they are to do? Verse 20, teaching
them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Jesus says, “Everything I told you to do, you go teach them how to do,” because they’re going to have a rerun of the life I had with you … and then we’re going to do it again … and then we’re going to teach it again … and then we’re going to do it again.

We sang these words last week. Don’t miss out, friends on the mothering, nurturing, affirming, loving, kindness, and affectionate love of Jesus.

Oh let the son of God unfold you with his spirit and his love.
Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
Oh let him have those things that hold you
and his spirit like a dove
will descend upon your life and make you whole.

That’s the way mothers love. But I would plead with you to let Jesus love you in the same way.

Jesus, oh Jesus, come and fill your lambs.
Jesus, oh Jesus, come and fill your lambs.

Let Jesus love you.
And as we do we will find that we are reliving the story.

This image is the four steps of coaching. You’ve probably seen it before. The first phase is to where Jesus says to the disciples, “I’m going to do it and you can watch.” Then they gain an ability. And then there comes a point to where Jesus says, “I’m going to do it and you can help.” And then there comes a point in time where Jesus sends them out and he says, “You can do it and I will help.” And then there comes the time to where the disciples are ready and Jesus says, “Now you do it and I will watch and I will help.”

And, friends, that’s the season that we are in now … because if we are familiar with the story of Jesus, if we are familiar with what he said and what he did, then you and I know what to do when he says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

You’ve heard me say it before, but it’s still true. It would be a great blessing to me if you would open your Bible to Matthew or Mark or Luke or John, one of the books that are about the life of Jesus. And as you read a chapter, say to yourself, “Okay, Lord Jesus, you said as the Father sent you, now you want to send me. How can we make this true today? How can I pray for people so that they get well? How can I explain what you explain so that someone’s life can become better so that they know what to do? Lord, how can I still the storm in people’s hearts the way you stilled the storm in the scripture? Lord, how can I love people the way that you love them?” Well, friends, I’ll be honest with you, if you become familiar with the story, you will be able to practice what Jesus preached!

Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, every one of us is born with this urgent need to be loved, to be loved unconditionally, to be loved even when we’re not at our best, to be loved when we don’t know what to do, when we’re confused, to be loved when we need love so desperately.

I thank you, Lord Jesus, for the way that mothers have demonstrated the virtue of loving this way for all of us. But, Lord, for some of us, our cup is half full. For some of us, we just didn’t quite get enough. For some of us, Lord, life can even feel hopeless and dangerous and fearful. And we don’t feel safe the way a baby feels held in the arms of its mother.

Lord Jesus, I pray that you would gather us into your arms and that you would give us the love that somehow life did not supply in abundance to us … so that we might be for others that kind of loving presence. And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home" | Leave a comment

Sermon May 1, 2022: Why Are You Troubled? (Eastertide 2)

Enlightening Images from Pixabay

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/704987415

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3hVVxVY52o

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: (St. Teresa of Avila:)

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world…
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


HYMN Blessed Assurance
Alan Jackson – Blessed Assurance (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vfqYwfTqlE

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − Almighty God, through Jesus Christ you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we, who celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may, by the renewing of your Spirit arise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN He Is Lord
He Is Lord, He Is Lord! He Is Risen From The Dead – The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxwzmr_aWx8

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Why Are You Troubled?
Luke 24:36-53
Series: Instructions for Resurrection and Revival

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

Luke 24:33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

36 As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them. 37 But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

49 And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.” 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN 347 Spirit Song
Spirit Song OLPS OCDC Pentecost 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpRG6cTPB2E

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

It is the evening of Easter Sunday. And Jesus appears to the disciples, and he asks them this question: “Why are you troubled?” I’d like to answer that question, they’re troubled, because they’re in shock, and it’s going to take them a while to adjust to something that shouldn’t be a surprise – the resurrection. He did explain it to them. But it’s going to take some time for them to adjust to the deepest, truest meaning of Easter. And let’s take a look at that experience.

But before we do, I’d like to tell you about a day in the fall, back in 1976. I moved to Louisville, Kentucky. We moved too late for me to begin seminary in the fall, and they said, “That’s no problem. Just apply for the spring.” So, I applied to enter the seminary in the spring. And I was invited to a meeting with the Registrar and with the Dean of Students. And I was working at a clothing store, selling Big & Tall clothing. I made $98 a week. But I had to take the bus.

So that morning, I took the bus to the seminary. Went up to the office of these two esteemed men. And they sat down and gave me quite a shock. They said to me, in the fall of 1976, “We want you to understand that even though we are a Southern Baptist seminary, you don’t have to be Southern Baptist to go here. But we do notice you’ve just gotten out of college, we know you were a part of many small groups, in your college experience. But we’ve noticed that you’ve only been a Baptist for three months. Although that doesn’t matter. But we’re deeply concerned – you’re here to study to be a pastor, and it doesn’t seem that you have any experience with what it’s like to be in a church.

Secondly, we’ve seen your grades. We’ll be honest with you, they’re not that good. This school is hard. And we have many students who come here. They were straight A students back in their colleges, but they get here and it’s graduate school, it’s a lot harder. And they feel all kinds of stress, trying to measure up, and we’ll be frank with you, many of them just don’t make the grade.

We’re worried about you. And in fact, every semester, there are some students who struggle so much with the rigors of this schoolwork they begin to feel suicidal. And every year it seems somebody doesn’t make it.

And we are really worried about you and that’s why we are going to deny your application to come to this school. We hope this doesn’t bother you too much. You can apply again for the Spring if you want. You can apply again, but we wanted you to know how we feel.

And then one of them looked me in the eye and said this, “Based on our assessment, you will never amount to much as a pastor.”

Well, friends, it’s good to have a warning about how hard it is. Let me share a little bit more information. I was shocked that day, but when I reapplied, I was a Southern Baptist. What do you know? And I was accepted.

The school was hard. But it’s ironic. The harder the classes, the better I did. By the time I graduated as a part of my master’s degree, I had 12 hours at the Ph.D. level in New Testament theology. I got an A-minus on the first seminar, but I was happy that I got an A on the second one. And the very last one, I got an A-plus ranking me over some of the dozen Ph.D. students taking those same classes with me.

So I guess the grades worked out. And I never did feel suicidal, although that day I might have felt a little bit like that. But you see, here’s what happens when you receive a shock, because everything you believed to be true, everything you hoped would happen, all of a sudden it comes crashing down. It takes some time to get used to it. It takes some time to get used to it.

And I’m somewhat thankful for that day for two reasons. The first is that no matter what people say, church politics is always involved in church life. But the second thing is this by their own rules in order to begin classes in the second year of the three-year Master’s program, I had to have a job in a church. And I would like you to know this seminary has the second largest student body of any seminary in the world. And I worked really hard to find a Southern Baptist Church that entire first year, that would hire me to do anything, even to be the janitor. And I finally gave up.

And I called the Methodist Church, and within a week, I had my choice of two youth pastor jobs, and I’ve never looked back. And I’m so thankful to be a part of the United Methodist Church, which was God’s plan all along. And whenever I meet a Southern Baptist. I thank them for the wonderful education I received … but I’m also thankful that I was supposed to be a Methodist with a Baptist education and I’m blessed.

But that particular day, I walked out on the street in front of this big building and I waited for the bus to come, and I rode the bus down to the place where I work. And I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. I’m really quite thankful for that.

I have a good friend who was a licensed commercial electrician before he went into the ministry. If I had had a certification as an electrician, I don’t know that I would have stayed in the ministry. If I was a licensed public school teacher, I don’t know that I could have stayed in the ministry. But the reality is I had no options and I did not know what to do – so I continued on, in the ministry. I couldn’t quit, because I had no other options.

And of course, the bus arrives 20 minutes before the store opens. So for 20 minutes, I literally paced in a large circle in the parking lot saying, “Lord, what do you want me to do? Lord, what do you want me to do?” And I had no answer.

This is how the crucible works. You see, life puts us in a situation that is not what we expected. Life puts us in a situation that is not what we desire. Life puts us in a situation where all hope is lost. And that life situation heats us up, and everything we thought was stable and certain begins to melt. That’s how the crucible works.

When we read about this in the Bible, it talks about the refining of precious metals, and it says that the refiner’s fire comes upon us and we melt. And you know what happens?
The impurities in the metal rise up to the top. It’s not so pretty, but as they rise up to the top, the refiner is able to scrape the impurities off the surface of the melted metal. And what’s left is pure … because of the troubles we go through. You see, I don’t think God causes our troubles, not so often. I should not have been so naive when I applied to go to this school. I should not have been so expected that they would just tell me, “Oh, you are so wonderful!” because they surely did not.

Nonetheless, God can use the difficult times that come upon us. And if you look back on your life, probably God has used those difficult times. But when you’re going through them, it’s not so good. I believe Winston Churchill is the one who said, when you’re going through hell, be certain to keep going … but this is how the crucible works. This is how “Fridays” work. This is how Good Friday works. And you’re going to be in that heat for a while until you understand that Easter has come.

Now, the scripture we’re looking at here is on Sunday afternoon of Easter Sunday. It’s still all brand new to the disciples. They don’t get it. And just to refresh your memory, last week two of them walked on the way to Emmaus with Jesus. And he opened their eyes to understand what was going on. And it says in verse 33 of Luke 24, “And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them who said, ‘The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon.'” In Mark, it says the same thing. The women went to the tomb, came back, said he’s risen. Peter and John run to the tomb and he’s not there. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and she tells them. According to Luke, the Lord also appears to Peter to Simon.

And Mark is a little gloomier than this record in Luke. It says they did not believe. It was still too much for them to wrap their heads around. They could not understand what was happening. And now the two men get back from Emmaus, verse 35, “They told what had happened on the road and how he was known to them in the breaking of bread.” Mark says, “And still they did not believe.”

But here in Luke, we have this hopeful thing, verse 36, “As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them. But they were startled and frightened and supposed that they saw a ghost, a spirit. And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do questionings rise up in your hearts?” Isn’t this good news? Why are you troubled?

And he goes on to say this, “See my hands, see the place where the nails went in, see the feet that it is I myself. Touch me, handle me, and see,” – please note these words – “for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

Let me tell you about the very first Christian heresy. You see, the Bible is very clear, but it sometimes takes us a while to understand it. God guides the church, but it sometimes takes the church a while to understand it because we have this very human tendency to choose to believe something that is more comfortable and convenient to us. So the very first heresy in the Christian church, the very first time the Church decided to believe something that was comfortable and convenient, was to say that when Jesus came back at Easter, they were wrong in thinking that he came back in a physical body. That he actually was a spirit. This sort of lovely, glowing, floating image without any physical body.

Friends, resurrection has a physical body. I’ve never met a ghost, but it’s my understanding you can put your hand right through them. But Jesus says touch me. This is real. The disciples go, “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.” Look at verse 41, “While they still disbelieved” – I don’t understand – “with joy, they were happy and wondered, ‘what could this be?'” Jesus changes the subject. Have you anything here to eat?

Now please keep in mind when this first Christian heresy – it was known as Gnosticism – began to spread after the first Easter when the disciples talked about what happened, they made certain to tell the Easter story so that people later could get it. Verse 41, Jesus asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” Now, I’d like to invite you to sort of let that sink in. The refreshments are important. They gave him a piece of broiled fish. The picture you’re looking at there is roast tilapia because the fish they raised in the Sea of Galilee is a form of tilapia. (I’m going to look forward to having some roast tilapia as soon as I can!) And when I do, I’m going to remember how Jesus, knowing that this would be a controversy, put in their experience the explanation. So the disciples would be able to say, “We saw him eat a piece of fish. It was real. Oh. It wasn’t our imagination. He wasn’t a ghost. This was real.” Jesus Christ rose in a physical body. Because in that physical body, he took the fish and he ate it right there before them. Friends, I guess this is the first potluck after the resurrection. But Jesus ate the fish as proof to help them with their understanding later because there was going to be a lot of confusion over this.

And then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you. That everything–“ please, notice that word, everything. “Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” You think you understand, but here’s the thing that the new disciples needed to understand. Your understanding needs to be based on the scriptures. But you don’t have to do that all by yourself. Look at verse 45: Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And on down through history to you and I, He continues to open our minds to understand the scriptures.

And He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

You may not understand everything in the scripture yet, but understanding what is in the scripture is the very best way to go through this time when you struggle with understanding.

What does the scripture say about this? And that’s a good question for every single one of you to ask your pastor. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before. I’ll say it again. When the pastor looks at you and says, “Trust me, it’s in the Bible somewhere,” the very first thing you should say is, “Pastor, let’s find it and read it together before you say another word.” And when you say that to me, I will say, “Thank God for the internet,” because that’s the reason why we say, “Well, I know it’s in there somewhere.” We’ll find it and read it together and understand it, because if our understanding is based on what the Scripture says, I think we’re going to have a firm foundation for understanding what is happening to us in this life. So I invite you. Look me right in the eye. Maybe you should wait till after the sermon so the sermon isn’t longer! … but you can look me right in the eye, and you say, “Pastor, I believe every word you said, but you told me that I needed to ask you to show us where it is in the Bible,” and friends, you should say that. And we will do that, because if our faith rests on the Scripture, it has a firm foundation in times of trouble.

So one, two, three principles. (1) Why are you troubled? (2) Understand the Scriptures. And here comes number three: We’re all asked to wait. I hate to wait. I don’t know if you have noticed or not. I will not get in line at a Church meal until the line goes down to almost nothing because I hate to wait. I also like to take firsts and seconds the first time through! So I don’t like to wait.

But Jesus says to them, “You need to wait.” And in fact, it’s Easter Sunday. They’re going to wait for 49 days, 7 Sundays, until the day of Pentecost. Jesus gives them time to adjust to a new understanding of what it means to be alive in Jesus Christ. Jesus gives them time for the Scriptures to sink in. Jesus gives them time to pray. And brothers and sisters, when you and I are struggling to understand what God’s doing, God will also give you time. I say this with the deepest and greatest sincerity.

Most of the time, in my experience, it’s the devil that tells you to hurry up and make up your mind. Kind of like a used car salesman that is selling a car that has something wrong with it: “I need you to hurry up and make up your mind.” Jesus says, “Take your time, think and pray, understand the Scriptures, and then you’ll be ready.” Jesus will give you time.

And here’s verse 49. Here are the words where Jesus says you’re going to need to wait: “I send the promise of my Father upon you, but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” When it’s time for you to serve and to go to work, the Holy Spirit is going to come. The Holy is going to be within you. The Holy Spirit is going to do the hard work and the heavy lifting. But for right now, stay in the city. You’re not ready yet. Let the Holy Spirit in the scripture get you ready. Stay in the city until you’re clothed with power from on high. And then he led them out as far as Bethany. And lifting up his hands, he blessed them. And while he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. He ascended into heaven.

Now, I don’t know if you can see that little black square on the bottom of the picture. It has that little circle that’s going around and around and around. Have you seen that on your cell phone? It takes some time for things to load, and we have that time. Wait for God. Wait for God.

And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple blessing God. I guarantee you. Where’s the best place for you to wait for God? Right here, in church. I’m glad you’re here today. The early disciples did the same thing. They were continually in the temple, praying, singing and blessing God.

Now, let’s remember what the Crucible is like. For a while, we are not going to understand everything. There’s at least one person here that says, “Pastor, I’m there. I’ve never understood everything.” But, for a while, we are not going to understand everything.

Just like me that day in the fall of 1976. Lord, I don’t know what you’re doing, but the heat that comes upon us causes what does not belong to rise to the top. And I’ll tell you, friends, it’s not pretty. Take a look at the cauldron on the screen. You see all that clinging to the sides there. It’s not pretty. But when the heat comes upon us, impurities become visible — because when the heat and the pressure come upon us, what shouldn’t be there begins to separate from what God needs. And it rises to the top and becomes visible. And God can work with it.

And I’ll be honest with you, if there’s a reason why we go through hard times, it’s to help God to work with it. Doesn’t make them easy times, but it’s to help God to work with it. On that day, making circles in the parking lot, I had no options. I had no hope of a job better than the one I had that day. $98 a week, just barely enough to pay rent. I had no hope of anything better. I had no choice that day but to believe that God had some purpose for my life. I had no choice that day but to hope that God would work this through. I had no option but to wait. And when I was helpless to let the Holy Spirit work. And you know something? It all worked out just fine. But in the moment, it wasn’t easy.

And therefore, I want to say to each one of us … if you’re going through a difficult moment, friends, I understand it’s not easy. But we need to hang on and let God work with what in life is not perfect. In fact, what in life is far from perfect. We need to hang on and let God work.

And so the disciples this day– let me remind you of what Jesus said to them. They were disbelieving with joy. “Here you are, Jesus. But we don’t understand. This doesn’t make any sense.” Well, it’s not going to make sense for a while.

But here are three things he told them to do. I think those three things will also help us in the dark night of the soul, in the dark time of troubles when we too are struggling and we say to God, “Lord, I don’t understand.” In your time of testing, I hope these three suggestions from Jesus will also speak to you.

The first one is to hang on to your faith and have faith.
The second one is to pick up the Bible.

I recommend the words of Jesus as the place to begin. But when you’ve read all of them, you can read all the rest and base your understanding of what is happening to you on what the Bible tells us. You may read through 100 verses before you find one that speaks right to your heart. But it will be worth the time it takes in a time of testing and heat and pressure and discomfort and even suffering. Base your understanding of what is happening on what you read in the Bible. And know that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to open up the Bible for you to understand.

Then finally, wait. We don’t get answers to our prayers immediately. Sometimes, we do. But sometimes, we have to wait. In this case, they are asked to wait and think and pray for 49 days.

The next time I complain to you about something being too hard to bear, I would appreciate it if you’d look me right in the eye and say, “Have you waited for 49 days? I’ll come back and ask you in 49 days if God has not helped you to understand better what you’re going through.”

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, we have not suffered the way the disciples suffered. They gave three years of their life in the hope that you were the Christ, the Messiah. Then all of a sudden, on a Friday, you died … and all of their hopes were lost. It took them some time to stand firm in their faith. It wasn’t easy. But Lord, in time you delivered them from that season of hopelessness and fear and dismay and disbelief. And you strengthened their faith and you worked things out. And Lord, in my life you have done the same so many times. Lord, is not always easy to believe, hope and wait during a hard day. When we’re in the Crucible, when life is painful and difficult. It is not always easy for us to endure, to stand firm in our faith. But I pray, Lord, that you would comfort us and remind us of the truth your Scripture brings to us … that out of waiting, a seed will sprout and bear fruit in its proper time. And so Lord, we pray that you would continue to work in our lives for all the time that it takes, maybe three days, maybe 49 days. Lord, it may take us longer! But please help us to understand the meaning of everything that comes to us in this life. And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS May 1 – May 8, 2022

THIS WEEK’S CHURCH CALENDAR
Sun 5/1
9:00 am … WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:15 am … GATHERING in Fellowship Hall for Coffee & Cookies
10:30 am … SUNDAY SCHOOL at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC

Tues 5/3 — … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day
6-8:00 pm .. BIBLE STUDY #10 in Fellowship Hall

Wed 5/4
9-11:00 am..BIBLE STUDY #10 in Fellowship Hall
1-5:00 pm… PASTOR DAVE volunteers at Library
1:00 pm …. TWILIGHT CIRCLE meets. Diane Hanks has
Devotions & Refreshments.

Sat 5/7
10:00 am … MOTHER/ DAUGHTER Brunch

Sun 5/8
9:00 am …. WORSHIP at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP at Wesley UMC

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW —

  1. Upcoming Meetings & Events
    May 4 – 1:00 pm Twilight Circle meets
    May 7 – 10:00 am – Mother/Daughter Brunch
  2. UPPER ROOMS — May & June issues are at each entrance of the Sanctuary. Pick your copy up today.
  3. HAND N HAND met Monday evening. We learned about the reason we celebrate Easter, had supper, played bells, and went on a treasure hunt! We had 11 kids and 9 adults! Thank you to all the volunteers that make Hand n Hand successful. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s help!
  4. EVERY PERSON connected to our church remains a part of our church family and the history of our church forever. Sometimes people move away and over the years, join another church and we are not aware. The purpose of a membership audit for both Kinmundy & Wesley UMC Churches: To update contact information; we may need your help with this. To visit, probably by phone, and be up to date on life, especially with folks who haven’t attended in a while. To learn how I, as their pastor, can pray for each of our members, and how they are doing spiritually. To update our membership records, and learn how people feel about being a member of our church. Our Prayer Families for this week are Wesley UMC members:
    • Adam Brimberry
    • Brad & Mary Brimberry
    • Randy & Carol Comer
    • Mac & Jo Garrett
  5. MOTHER/DAUGHTER BRUNCH will be held on Saturday, May 7, at 10:00 am in Kinmundy UMC Fellowship Hall. Hope to see you there. Sign-up sheet in the office.
  6. MOTHER’S DAY PHOTOS — Kim is beginning to collect photos of Mothers for the Mother’s Day video. Drop yours off or email them to the church at kumc11@outlook.com.
  7. IF YOU WOULD LIKE to make a contribution to help refugees in Ukraine, our church will make a donation later in May to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which is working now in Ukraine. 100% of your donation goes to the need. You can write Ukraine and the amount in the memo line on your check.
    .
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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — May 1 – May 8

Please Pray For Our Neighbors struggling with Covid and related illnesses, at home or at the hospital, and their families.

Please Pray For Our Pastors: David Kueker, our Superintendents, (Allynn, Charliam and Stan) and our Bishop, Frank Beard. If you need Pastor Dave for prayer, please call or text his cell phone, 618-780-0151, or email him at dkueker@yahoo.com or on Facebook as David Oliver Kueker.

Prayer Request From Jesus: Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Please Pray For God To Bless Our “Care Card Ministry” Person Of The Week –
K Marti Ambrose

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
K Ted Stringfellow – of California, diagnosed with cancer of the nasal passage. Having tests to see what his options are. Barb Wilson’s brother.
K Quinten Butts – was in Good Sam hospital few days last week, came home Wednesday. Will see his doctor next week..
K Mike Williams – checkup on hand Thursday and Friday therapy to the ear for the Vertigo.
K Diane Randolph White – diagnosed with brain tumor that appears to be contained within membranes of the brain and not invading the brain itself. Surgery is set for June 13 at Barnes.
K Joyce Holley – was in Good Sam hospital a few days last week with pneumonia. Came home on Wednesday.
K Bill Walters – at home taking therapy for his knee surgery.
K Gerri Molina – Gerri is resting comfortably most of the time and appreciates your prayers. Send cards to: Sellersburg Healthcare Center, Room 403, 7823 Old State Road 60 Sellersburg, IN 47172

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs
Sam & Jane Lowe, James Brasel, Ed & Terri Mulvaney, Rodney Armstrong, Marti Ambrose, Colton Sunderland (Marti’s great grandson), Joyce Hodges (Susan Smith’s friend), Renee Woodward (Jenny Gura’s mother), Larry Hebron, Marie Dickerson, Rock Landes, Joyce Holley, Gabina Lira, Russell Kilby, Shirley Miller, John Holzhauer, Aaron Guerrettaz (Jo Williams’ nephew, Jim & Nancy Guerrettaz’s son), Jim Guerrettaz, Quinten Butts, Kayley Wilhelm, Larry & Dolores Johnson.

Please Pray For God To Bless Our Military Families –
Sgt Rusty & Nicole (Nolan, Michael, Lydia) Robb – US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland.

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