“But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-19 NRSV
It is, perhaps, the most beautiful season of the year. Autumn in all its colorful beauty is upon us! Last night our church family hosted around 600 of our neighbors as they attended Trunk-or-Treat! Our church building was full of laughter and noise and love. Beautiful.
On Sunday mornings we have finished our series on the Sermon on the Mount and we have begun a series looking at the promises we make when we become members of the United Methodist Church. We promise “To faithfully participate in its ministries by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness”. Perhaps you made that promise in the past – perhaps you will consider making that promise in the future. I invite you to come and look with us at how we order our lives together in this congregation.
On Sunday, November 4th we will celebrate an extra hour of sleep (Daylight Savings Time Alert) and reflect on All Saints Day and Holy Communion. I hope you will make plans to come and worship with us as we give thanks for the saints that went before us, the saints that worship with us, and the saints that will follow us on the journey of faith.
We will wrap up this series on November 25th when we look at our membership promise to witness to our faith or share our testimonies. What do you have to thank God for? Have you told anyone lately?
In the text above from Paul’s first letter to the saints in Thessalonica we hear Paul call us to “give thanks in all circumstances”. Read that a third time carefully – Paul calls us to give thanks in, not for all things. Prepare your hearts for the Thanksgiving season friends – live life full of thanks in all things. Come and join us for worship this Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30 A.M. - we'll save you a seat!is not noted here, and we have no way of knowing, but I can't help but notice that Matthew comes to faith very soon after the Sermon on the Mount of chapters 5,6 and 7. I can't help but wonder if Matthew was in the crowd on that hillside a couple of chapters ago. Perhaps he heard Jesus Rabbinic teaching, and found the teaching transforming and irresistible! That would make sense that days later as Jesus passes by he quickly leaves everything to follow.Take a look with me at a subtle development that usually goes unnoticed in the Gospel of Matthew. We are in chapter 9 - roughly a third of the way through Matthew's Gospel account and someone gets invited to the party! Why, it's Matthew himself! Pastor Bill