The cooler weather sure makes it feel like winter is really here to stay for a while. I love the cool weather, but some of these mornings have been pretty chilly. Luckily for us the sun’s warming rays have drenched us with just enough warmth to make for some beautiful winter days. With the exception of more rain, I don’t think we could ask for any better weather for this time of the year.
While driving into Mason after church last Sunday, we witnessed how the warm hearts of the people in our community always seem to prevail. We saw Steve Toone and a group of “True Warriors” in front of his shop next to his home. They were proudly admiring the bounty from their well deserved hunt, provided by the people of Mason County. Thanks to everyone who helped and participated in the Patriot Warrior Foundation program. We are happy and blessed to have Jack and Lynn Sikora visiting with us again from Connecticut. It is such a pleasure to have them back in Art. This Wednesday, at 6:30pm, there will be a covered dish meal in the Art UMC Fellowship Hall and a chance to watch the DVD of Art’s Christmas Play presentation of “For Unto Ya’ll”. So, if you missed the stage performance last December, come join us for food, fellowship and fun. A new Bible study on Prayer begins Wednesday, January 23rd at two locations. The Bible Study will be held in the mornings at Trinity UMC at Castell from 10:30am till noon and in the evenings at Art UMC from 6-7:30pm. This study will last about 8-10 weeks. If you are interested please call or email Pastor Cliff so the right number of study guides can be ordered. The book “Does Your Church Have a Prayer?” by Marc Brown will be used for the study. Everyone is invited to attend. The Art/Trinity United Methodist Women held their first meeting for 2013 on January 8th. The new officers were installed and a year full of encouraging programs and activities was planned. Please join us every second Tuesday of the month at alternating locations between Art UMC in Art and Trinity UMC in Castell for creative and supportive fellowship, understanding of/and participation of the concepts of mission; not to mention good food and fun!
Happy Birthday to Kambree Jade Kothmann on the 18th, Dorothy Johnson on the 19th, John Kooch on the 21st and Ruby Toeppich and Billy Wayne Kooch on the 22nd. We wish you all a splendid day!
Last Sunday was the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany. The Gospel was taken from Luke 3: 15-22.
In this narrative of Luke we progress from Jesus’ infancy to His growth into the Child who became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and with the grace of God upon Him. As time passes, He increases in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. There are problems in Israel at this time because of the complex historical and political situation. The Israelites had to abide with all the rules, regulations and judgments of not only the Roman emperor, but also with the governor and religious leaders as well. John the Baptist was carrying out his ministry in the wilderness by the Jordan. He preached and baptized people as a cleansing of heart and to prepare them to receive the Messiah through repentance. John’s baptismal message was stern and demanded a change in one’s life. People from all walks of life; from commoners, to soldiers and tax collectors were given specific actions of repentance. The judgment of God was imminent upon them and their nation. Some people thought that John could be the Messiah. He made it clear to them that he was not their Messiah, but only His forerunner. John continued his ministry and was later cast into prison by one of the sons of Herod the Great because he was not afraid to preach against divorce. In verses 21 and 22, the baptism of Christ is explained as being totally unique. It did not signify repentance, because Jesus had no sin to repent. Jesus said it was to “fulfill all righteousness.” (Mt. 3:15) This was the beginning of Christ’s public ministry (at the age of about 30) and His future death, burial, and resurrection for the sins of the world. With a voice from heaven; God the Father testifies, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.” Jesus is both King and servant as will be evidenced for the rest of his earthly life.
Peace to all