Mason County News
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Bits of Art
(bits_of_art@hughes.net)
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 • Posted November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Thank God for all that He has done. Prayers work.

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, at 6 p.m. If you can breathe, you can be in this choir!

A group of folks gathers each Tuesday at the Food Bank prayer room about 3 pm, to pray for our community. All are welcome. Art UMC will be helping hand out food boxes on December 9th – 11th from 3-5 p.m.

Art UMC is invited to “ring the Salvation Army bell” on Friday December 6th, and Saturday Dec 7th. All funds collected remain in Mason County and are administered by the Mason County Ministerial Alliance. You can sign up online at SignUpGenius, or you can all Pastor Cliff and sign up. We will be ringing from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in one hour shifts.

Sunday, December 1st, 6 p.m. at St Paul Lutheran Church there will be a community wide worship Advent worship service of lessons and carols. Come and enjoy hand bell choirs and all sorts of special Christmas music as we begin the journey of Advent. An offering will be taken for the Food Bank.

Being able to unify as the body of Christ and build the much needed ramp in harmony is equally important as the ramp itself. The Lord needs to see and hear Art UMC come together in unity to glorify Him. Let us build the ramp and praise God.

There is a PPR meeting on Tuesday, December 4th, at 6.30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 10th at noon, the UMW invites everyone to join them for a Christmas gathering and meal at the Community Building in Castell. This building is located directly behind Trinity UMC, and is the old Castell school building.

Clara McInnis celebrated her 100th birthday Saturday afternoon with most of Mason Co. and all of her relatives. Clara – we all love you and wish you have many, many more birthdays

Happy birthday greetings go to Lorien Calhoun on Nov. 28th and also to Wanda Jordan on Nov. 29.

Our condolences go to Stephen and Joyce Mutschink, Steve and Karan Toone and Etta Marie Mutschink after the death of Bill (Bootsy) Willmann.

These are the words of Pastor Cliff:

This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. Some may remember it as the Reign of Christ Sunday. The gospel reading is Luke 23. It deals with the crucifixion of Jesus. As you read the story, you might ask where “you” are in the story.

This Sunday is intended to be a reminder for us when the horror and distress in the world threatens to break our hearts and tempt us to wonder whether we can really believe that God is in control of history. Following Jesus does not come with a “suffering-free” life. But we can trust that God will be with us in suffering just as He was with Jesus on the cross. Ultimately, God will bring justice and wholeness to the world. Sometimes God will grant us a taste of glory, but the rest of the time we must trust his words and remember that He holds the future in his hand. We live in the “already – not yet” time in the Kingdom. We live in a time in history when some teach evil. Some teach extremists to strap on an explosive vest and kill innocent people so the bomber himself can go to “heaven”. That is evil as it gets. Killing innocents so one can go to heaven. Followers of Jesus are willing to “die to themselves” and live in agape love so that others might live forever. “Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it”. (Luke 17:33). Christ the King Sunday is a reminder that we live in the already, not yet Kingdom, and we are invited to give ourselves in the way that Jesus gave himself for us, so that the Kingdom of God might be made real to all. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven … is much more than the words of the Lord’s prayer. Agape love is not an emotion. Agape love is learning to love others the way Jesus loves us.

Jesus provided for the salvation of the whole world on Calvary. The question is, how then shall we live? How do we respond to God’s love” as we take a look at the crucifixion of God.

In Luke chapter 23, verses 33 to 48 we read: When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed Jesus to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified -- one on his right and one on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

A sign was fastened to the cross above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” Do you believe God is in charge at Calvary? Do you think Jesus “chose” to be obedient unto death? Was that a choice Jesus would make?

Do you believe that Jesus is Lord, and Caesar is not. ..even at Calvary, the place of the skull? Can you remember His prayer BEFORE going to the cross? Luke chapter 22, verse 40 reads: When Jesus reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then Jesus withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” Then an angel from heaven appeared to Jesus and gave him strength. (Luke 22:40-43 NRS) One of the two criminals didn’t think that God would make such a choice, to die on a cross, to die a humiliating criminal’s death; listen to what he said in verse 39: One of the criminals hanging beside Jesus scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself-- and us, too, while you’re at it!”

The one who calls the shots of the universe is the one who hangs on the cross, forgiving sinners and welcoming any who ask into paradise. Mercy rules the day, not violence, not pomp, not any trappings wealth or power. The plan is love, obedience, humility, servant hood. Obedience, even to death? In verse 40, the repentant criminal tries to convince the other criminal “now” is a good time to get onboard. “You’re about to die. Is that when we should start singing “Victory in Jesus” or “Blessed Assurance? Listen to his suggestion in verse 40: 40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?

We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man, Jesus , hasn’t done anything wrong. Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom. And then the words we all love to hear from the King James Version and only in the gospel of Luke: And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise”. (Luke 23:43 KJV)

Luke chapter 23 gives us an insight into what kind of “King” Jesus is. Jesus had been teaching the “great reversal” his whole life. And particularly in this scripture today, we get “what” being a Jesus follower is about. It involves dependence of the grace of the Lord who has come, is present, and is to come. “already, not yet” and this action of grace, the salvation of the world accomplished at Calvary, does not create a new existence in solitude. It is intended to bring about a renewed humanity.

How then shall we live? Are you willing to be crucified with Jesus or are you still standing by and watching?

The “plan” is us. You and I, the followers of Jesus, we are the “plan” to bring in the Kingdom of God on earth. Our only power is love. We don’t have any special privileges. In fact the “only” rights we have in the Kingdom of God are: to love and to forgive. I want to remind you of the prayer Jesus prayed JUST BEFORE being taken to the cross,. In John 17:1, Jesus said: “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. Then, in verse 11, Jesus says: “Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Now I am coming to you Father. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.

19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. 20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. That’s us. Jesus was praying for us. And Jesus prayed this for us: 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one -- as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. … so that the world will believe you sent me. Verse 23: Jesus prays: “May they experience such perfect unity that the world may know that you have sent me and loved them as you have loved me”

We live in the already, not yet. We live after Easter, and before the 2nd coming of Jesus. We do not know what is coming to us. But we do know who is coming. It is He who meets us every day and will meet us at the end - Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Therefore we say to you: Rejoice in Hope!

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