Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Readings for Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hello Everyone,
After a short vacation I am back in the office and getting ready for this coming Sunday. 

This Sunday is the Second Sunday of Advent. We will be continuing our Sermon Series “God Bless Us Everyone” at Grey Eagle and starting that series at Long Prairie. The series is based on Charles Dickens story “The Christmas Carol” and the study “The Redemption of Scrooge” by Matt Rawle. In conjunction with the sermon series, we will be showing “The Muppet Christmas Carol” at Grey Eagle UMC at 4 pm this Sunday. Everyone is invited to come (even though it is “Senior Youth Group”). There are a lot of good versions of “The Christmas Carol” including ones staring George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart. The author of the series recommended the Disney animated version that came out in 2014 but the Muppets are my favorite. This is a free showing for everyone and you are welcome to bring your friends. (For those who might be worried, I have secured the right for the public showing.)
Once again, Come to the Showing of “The Muppets Christmas Carol”!
We will not be reading the Lectionary Scriptures this Sunday but I want you to be aware of what they are and I hope you read them.
Isaiah 11:1-10 – The prophet looks forward to a time when a new King, a descendant of David son of Jesse, will rule with righteousness and equity. This new King will dispense with the wicked. It will be a time of peace when even natural enemies will be friends: wolf and lamb, leopard and kid (baby goat), calf and lion. Even poisonous snakes won’t strike at a baby. All will be set right and be at peace.
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 – The psalmist calls on God to provide a King who will rule with righteousness and justice, defending the cause of the poor, lifting up the needy, and crushing the oppressor. He asks that this King will rule for as long as the sun shines through all generations.
Romans 15:4-13 – The last few chapters of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome he encourages the believers to live in harmony. How shall we live in harmony? We need to serve one another, becoming a servant as Jesus did. In this manner the Word of God may be spread throughout the world (to the Gentiles). In verse 12, Paul quotes Isaiah (above) about the descendant of Jesse ruling and bringing hope to us. I will quote the last verse below.
Matthew 3:1-12 – The 2nd and 3rd Sundays of Advent are devoted to the story of John the Baptist. If you remember, John is the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah (Luke 1) and is distantly related to Jesus. We remember that John paved the way for the ministry of Jesus with his preaching and baptizing at the Jordan River. The Gospels give us a fair picture of John in addition to what I just mentioned: lived an austere life in the desert, arrested by King Herod, sent disciples to question Jesus about what Jesus was doing, was eventually beheaded by soldiers of Herod, and his disciples carried his message for about a generation after his death.
I finish with this final verse from Romans 15, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Peace in Christ,

Pastor Gary

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