Mason County News
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Bits of Art
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 • Posted June 4, 2014

Kenneth and Brenda Kothmann are having a happy anniversary celebration on June 7th and E. Wayne and Kathy Jordan will have their anniversary party on June 11th. A really large celebration is planned for Sterling Jordan’s birthday on June 8th; another party is scheduled for Goldie Lease on June 10th and I am sure that Ron Fritze will be ready to celebrate his birthday on June 11th.

Continue to pray for healing and strength for Dick and Dorris Ann Pierson, Etta Marie Mutschink and Pastor Cliff’s father.

The UMW Ladies are going to Kerrville for a special “Day Out” on Tuesday, June 10th. Call Joyce Mutschink at 347-5638 for more information.

The Community Kitchen is cooking Saturday, June 7th at the Mason ISD cafeteria. We starts at 8 a.m. and are usually finished done by 11 a.m.

Have you ever thought about what Jesus prayed right before He left earth and went back to be with God? It is in the Bible in John chapter 17. Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life, to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” Jesus said to God: “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”

This prayer of Jesus continues: “Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.” Jesus is getting ready to “ascend” and He is praying that God will protect us so that we will be united after he has gone. Jesus’ prayer continues: “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word.”

In verse 15 Jesus continues to pray for us: “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.” As Jesus followers, we will continue to do battle with evil. Jesus is expecting us to be engaged in battling evil, He prayed to God that God would protect us during our struggles to “do justice”, to “make peace” that the Kingdom of God on earth, will be as it is in heaven. We will face opposition from evil.

Following Jesus is so much more than being “saved”; that’s the starting point. Realize that we cannot earn our way into heaven. Our salvation is a free, an unmerited GIFT from God. The first words Jesus spoke in the gospel of Mark are: “The time promised by God has arrived. Repent, and believe the Good News.”

Repent, means much more than being sorry about your past mistakes. Repent means change your ways of living. Your ways don’t change until your thinking changes and your heart changes. Romans 12: 2 says “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. God is expecting you and I to be transformed, by HIS SPIRIT and by HIS WORD.

Jesus continues to pray for us in verse 18: “Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” “Peace be with you,” he said. [Shalom] Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus prayed that the unity of His followers [the church!] would cause the world to believe that God sent him. The church that you and I know is not unified, far from it, it seems. “Unity” is not everybody being and thinking and worshipping the same ways. When we hear the story of Pentecost next week, we will hear that the church was made of very many different folks from all over the known world. They were remarkably different, but unified in their love for each other and for God.

This is the task: being able to be unified in ministry to the world with folks that don’t look like you, behave like you, sing like you. It is finding common ground despite our differences. It is not about sameness. It is about being unified with folks not like you, so the world will believe God sent His Son. The outsider often asks me: I know God will forgive me, but what about the church? Will they forgive me?

Jesus prays: “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. ANOTHER GIFT; glory so we can unify.

I don’t wish to add any words to His prayer. Jesus prayed that we should experience such perfect unity that the world would know that God send Jesus with the message that God loves everyone just as much as he loves you and I. I believe Jesus’ first words after His resurrection are beautiful and profound and have the potential to transform us: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” I pray the folks of Mason County, all the churches, community organizations, private, public, would be so unified and accepting of each other, that the outsider looking in, would see “us” as a better offer than the choice offered by the other side.

This is our prayer. Unity. Not sameness.

Live as an example of God’s love. Share the message of God’s love.

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