Just What Do I Do With That?!

Jeremiah 1:4-10, I Corinthians 13:1-13 and Luke 4:21-30

Whether we hear well or not, we attend to people every day bringing each of us a message. Someone in school, work, government, church, media, community or in mission has something to say to us.

It sure seems like the person of faith, a follower of Jesus, would be “listening up” each day for a message, a guidance, from God. It might be when you read a devotional, study the Bible, attend worship or join a time of fellowship. A Word for you is available.

Our three lectionary scriptures bring us a diversity of messages. Jeremiah says first you need a messenger. God calls preachers, prophets, and laity to bring a word from God by words and deeds. And we might get the “gold standard” of all scriptural messages, the love chapter in Corinthians.

When we do this kind of love then surely the “Kingdom of God is in our midst.” But some words from God through Jesus may well “set some people off!” The passage in Luke says after Jesus spoke in the synagogue some wanted to throw him off a cliff!!

Message, proclaimer, and response. Love of God, neighbor, and self is the ultimate but HOW that is spelled out may take many paths and may get all sorts of reactions. This can all be quite challenging but does make for an interesting, exciting, meaningful life!

So, let’s “listen in” this Sunday worship and other message moments and see what responses appear during the days ahead!


Pastor Barry †

From Purification to Party

Isaiah 62:1-5, I Corinthians 12:1-11 and John 2:1-11

The Gospel of John presents Jesus beginning his ministry during a wedding, a joyous occasion in most any culture. Jesus is present with both his mother Mary and his new group of followers, his disciples.

This helps us draw close to his humanity and see how he affirms the people, places and moments in daily life. He doesn’t remove himself from the world we know but finds ways to bless and encourage.

As the week long tradition draws to a close, the wedding beverages are noticed to be in short supply. Jesus meets a relatively minor need using the divine power within himself. Why not help the hosts of the wedding? No reason for them to be embarrassed by a lack of wine.

What should also strike us as remarkable is His use of water reserved for ritual purification! The ritual washing of hands and even clothing was ever present so as not to violate proper cleanliness to honor God the holy. The water was required and necessary as well. Will there be enough ritual water now?!

From routine water for washing comes good wine not second rate wine! The time is still ongoing for celebrating the wedding couple and the extended family and community. “Enjoy,” says Jesus. Purification is fine in its place but celebration goes one better than being ritually clean! Abundant life indeed! (anticipating the abundant life of John 10:10).

Here is a profound message for all of us including Mary the proud mother, his new followers, the larger wedding party, and us today. God is able and willing to emphasize the good things in this world which is the Creation of God to begin with!

Blessings in the reading and hearing of this Word from God!

Pastor Barry †

Baptism- Road Sign?

Isaiah 43:1-7, Acts 8:14-17 and Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

On January 9th the first Sunday after the Epiphany, we celebrate Baptism of our Lord. Our sermon title is Baptism – Road Sign? The scriptures are Isaiah 43:1-7, Acts 8:14-17 and Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Worship this Sunday will include the Luke passage about the baptism of Jesus. We in turn will renew our congregational Baptismal Covenant.

We as United Methodists recognize two Sacraments, Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Both are “outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace.” One marks a beginning of a journey and the other is like “food” throughout the journey. We are people who have “signpost.” Those moments and events which point us in a direction.

The road of life needs markers and means of guidance. God has supplied us with at least two through life in the church. Gratitude and humility and service are our response. All people need guidance. Some are reluctant to ask and try to go it alone. Sometimes a false pride in our own power and strength blinds us to our dependence upon the Creator, the Savior.

It’s interesting that on January 9, 1928 in Nashville, TN “The Seeing Eye,” the first school to train dogs to guide the blind was opened. We are all spiritually impaired and need guidance. We all need guidance on January 9, 2022 and onward. Baptism by “water and the Spirit and fire” is intended to open our spiritual eyes and help us see throughout this world and beyond.

God bless us as we celebrate our Lord’s own Baptism and renew our congregational covenant in this New Year.

Pastor Barry †