Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Readings for Sunday, March 11, 2018

Hello Everyone,

First, do not forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday Night. "Spring Ahead" as they say. If you forget, you will arrive at church in time for fellowship (GEUMC) or lunch (PUC).

Second, this Sunday Grey Eagle UMC is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the new church building. They are also celebrating the 140th year of being a church in the Grey Eagle area. From what I gather an informal church began worshiping in a log cabin on the north shore of Big Birch Lake in 1878. In 1879, a United Brethren in Christ church was incorporated as Swan Lake Chapel. Then, in 1881 those two groups merged to form Lake Valley Church. In 1883, a small wood-framed church was erected in the Village of Grey Eagle. This building was torn down in 1922 and our former building was erected.

This Sunday we will continue with our worship series "The Road to Light". Our focus is "Take the Light on the Journey". Here is the synopsis I wrote:

"For God so loved the COSMOS . . . that might be the light Jesus offers us along the way. Things will get ugly for Jesus and it seems to always be ugly 2000 years later. For those who believe in Jesus, follow in his Way, live by his Truth, and seek Life in him, they have salvation, eternal life. Judgement come to those who love the lie (darkness) and reject the truth (light). To be the light, Jesus must be lifted up on the cross."

Our readings for this week are:
Numbers 21:4-9 – This is a troubling reading. The Israelites are traveling the long way around the kingdom of Edom and they begin grumbling against Moses and God. "Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents . . . so that many Israelites died." (The Lord did what? I imagine that they were moving and griping; came upon an area infested with the snakes that killed them; and naturally blamed God.) The people repented and Moses was instructed to make a poisonous snake and put it on a tall pole. Then, whenever someone was bitten, all they had to do was to look at the snake on a pole and they would be healed. This incident is mentioned by Jesus in our Gospel reading.

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 – Give thanks to the Lord who has delivered us from our sinful ways. This sentiment is repeated 5 times in verses 1, 8, 15, 21, and 31.

Ephesians 2:1-10 – What you do won’t get you eternal life! Faith in the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ will! This is God's free gift to you.

John 3:14-21 – Jesus says the Son of Man must be lifted up like the snake on a pole from our Numbers reading. Of course, John 3:16 is here but what about verses 17 and 18? However, those who don't believe, who don't see the light, have already judged themselves. Those who do evil will usually want to avoid scrutiny (stay in the dark) while those who do what is true and right will do it in plain sight.

How are you taking the light of Jesus Christ into your world?

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary

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