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Mason County News
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Bits of Art
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 • Posted March 21, 2012

Last Thursday a cloud of sadness was cast upon the normally fun spirited Spring Break week in Mason County. We have been so deeply saddened by the loss of Austin Garrett, 15, and the injuries sustained by the Hanscheck children, Michael, 16, Jessica, 13, and Courtney, 10, in a one-vehicle crash last week. This was such a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with both families.The Community Lenten Lunch Gathering will be held this Wednesday, March 21st, at noon at the St. Paul Lutheran Church and on Wednesday, March 28th at the Eckert Community Center, hosted by First UMC Mason. We will have our Christmas Play practice this Wednesday, March 21st, at 5:30pm followed by the final Revelation Bible Study Session at 6:00pm.Just a reminder…….This coming Saturday, March 24th, 9am – noon, is our Church Work Day! Come a little early for a light breakfast and then lunch at noon. Let’s all come together and prepare God’s church for Easter.Roger Jordan read a lovely “thank you” note Sunday from Jack and Lynn Sikora, our visiting friends from Connecticut. As many of you may recall, they recently visited Art and stayed in the Hasse Home B&B. We were blessed to have them worship with us here at Art UMC and look forward to their return.Willie Mae Oestreich’s sister broke her hip during her visit with Willie Mae in Castell. Please keep her in your prayers. Also, Joyce Mutschink has still not fully recovered from this seasonal sinus bug that keeps hanging around. Please continue prayers for her. May we also remember to pray for the safety, comfort, and well being of all our servicemen and women and their families. And, as always we pray for our homebound and nursing home members and friends.Speaking of servicemen, we were so happy to have Josh Calhoun in church with us last Sunday. We are very grateful for his safe trip home to his family and for his service to our country.Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to James Gleghorn on the 21st, and Vicki Krcha on the 22nd, and Brenda Kothmann on the 24th, Happy Birthday to You All and many more………….hope you each have a terrific day!Sunday was the 4th Sunday in Lent. The First Reading was from Numbers 21: 4-9, and was read by Dakota Dyess. In this reading from the Old Testament, we are told of how the Israelites while in the wilderness, became impatient with Moses and God. They complained about and protested God’s provision of the manna, calling it “worthless bread.” Rejecting the heavenly bread was like rejecting God’s grace. Not good! God sent fiery serpents among them, and many of the people were bitten and died. When they saw the discipline from God, they realized they had sinned, and begged for forgiveness. Moses prayed for them and God told him to make a fiery snake and put it up on a pole and anyone who had been bitten could look at it and live. Raising such a despicable symbol would normally have caused the people to be repulsed. But in this case, they had to look up at the symbol in order to live. It is noted that the only healing power came from God and by obeying Him. In the Gospel we see how Jesus referred to the image of the snake in his conversation with Nicodemus as an explanation of His own execution. To the Jews, crucifixion was a sign of a curse. So, just as the Israelites had to look at the snake to be saved, we are reminded that we must also look up at the image of Jesus on the cross for our salvation. The Call to Worship was read by Jordan Dyess and the Gospel Reading was from John 3: 14-21. Nicodemus was a man of the Pharisees and a member of the Jewish council. The scripture says he came to speak with Jesus at night. (Perhaps he was unsure of his faith, but was trying to learn more.) He told Jesus that he knew He was a teacher sent from God and that no one could do the things Jesus did without God being with Him. Jesus said to him, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” It is clear that Nicodemus did not understand the spiritual meaning of Jesus’ statement by the questions he asked about being “born again.” Jesus answered him by explaining, “This new birth is the way God gives spiritual life to one who trusts Me.” Jesus used the analogy of being born of water and the Spirit, and of flesh and the wind to experience a spiritual rebirth. Nicodemus still didn’t get it. He asked, “How can these things be?” Jesus answers the question. He said that new birth is by the Son, by the Cross (Verse14), and by Faith (Verse15). Jesus now explains the nature of God’s plan of redemption, by using the scripture of Moses in the wilderness and the fiery serpent on the pole. The Son of Man must be lifted up (on the cross) so that man bitten by the serpent of sin might have life eternal. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Peace to all

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