Art Choir practice will be at 6:30 pm every Wednesday. We are practicing for the community wide Advent worship service on December 1st at St Paul Lutheran Church, 6 pm. If you can tap your foot, you can be in this choir!
The Trustees will have an urgent meeting this Thursday at 6:30 pm.
Clara McInnis will celebrate her 100th birthday next Saturday afternoon, November 23rd, at the Richard P. Eckert Civic Center in Mason. Everyone is invited to come between 2 and 4:30 pm for refreshments and to wish her a Happy 100th Birthday.
A birthday celebration next week will be for Roger Jordan on Nov.24th. Max and Jan Jordan will celebrate their anniversary on Nov. 24th and Stephen and Joyce Mutschink will observe their anniversary on Nov. 25th. Have a great party!
Next Sunday is Christ the King Sunday and we will be “Hanging the Greens’. We will start at 9:30 am in lieu of Sunday School. Breakfast will be provided.
At the October Ad Council meeting, a motion to build a ramp at the south side door on the east end of the church was unanimously approved. Being able to unify as the body of Christ, and build the ramp in harmony is equally important as the ramp itself. Jesus prayed that the love and unity among his believers would be what caused the lost to believe that God sent His Son. The Lord needs to see and hear Art UMC come together in unity to glorify Him.
Rev. Cliff Krcha’s message was titled “Living in the Kingdom,,, “already, not yet’” In Luke 21: 5-19, Jesus warns us of turbulent days ahead, and calls us to avoid false messiahs and to use adversity as our opportunity to witness tour faith in God. Since Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, his teaching has been about the temple, where he cleansed the temple. The Sadducees tried to trap him, and Jesus taught them about the resurrection. Jesus also taught the Parable of the Wicked Tenants, pointing to his death at the hands of the keepers of the temple and concluding with the verse about the stone that the builders rejected becoming the cornerstone. Jesus taught us that giving to the Lord was a matter of our hearts with the Widow’s Mite being the example. When the Romans destroyed the Temple, they destroyed ALL of Jerusalem. It took them about 3 years.
Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?” He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them.
And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! Even those closest to you, your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But not a hair of your head will perish! By standing firm, you will win your souls. And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city.
Today, we live in the “already, but not yet” times. Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. How then, shall we live, in these “already, but not yet” times? Every generation, it seems, thought “its time” was “the time”. I invite you to another view.
God loves you so much, He gives you the ability to make your own choice on how you will respond to His love. Even thou the Temple was magnificent, Jesus tells them: “It’s not about the building. It’s not about the Temple. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well: “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows”. We know there is going to be persecution and hardship. So, Jesus would tell us to not be looking for “signs”. But rather, use the adversity to testify to our love of God and our faith in God. When Jesus had “finished” all of his work, when he has done all of his miracles and all of his teaching, he celebrated the Passover with his disciples which we now understand as the Great Thanksgiving. And he had washed their feet. When Jesus was about to be crucified, he tells them he has a “new” commandment. “Love one another, love each other the “way” Jesus loved us”.
We are part of the great story of God. We are part of the move of God, reconciling the whole world. And we are invited to participate in the Kingdom of God on earth. Embrace Jesus’ call for us to testify to our faith in God. We live in the already, not yet. We are anointed to bring good news to the poor. We are sent to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Testify to the good news. Love one another with agape love, the love of Jesus who humbled himself, became a servant, and was willing to be obedient, even to death on a cross. That’s real love. Look all around, there are opportunities everywhere, it seems.
11 words, could 11 words matter that much? Here they are: “Please forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you”. God’s Kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven.