When I woke up Sunday morning it was 59 degrees! Maybe fall is trying to sneak in early this year. Wouldn’t that be great! Last week Mason was full of people, yet you could barely see some of them because of all the camouflaged clothing they were wearing, even the children. Labor Day has past; hunters are in town, now all we need is those 70 degree days. I’m ready and waiting!
Well folks, I need to let you know that due to family obligations, I won’t be able to write the Bits Of Art column every week. Please understand that if you don’t see the column, it’s because I was out of town. I sincerely hope this will not inconvenience anyone. I know some folks depend on the column for announcements, however, Tyra Jordan graciously provides a monthly church calendar and you may request one by calling the church office. If you have provided Pastor Cliff with your e-mail address, he regularly sends e-mails with announcements and prayer concerns. Thank you all so much for all the compliments and encouragement during the past year. Please know I will continue to write Bits of Art, but again at times, it won’t be every week.Happy Belated Birthday to Michael Gleghorn whose birthday was on the 4th, Scott Zesch, Kaden Chase Jordan and Kyler Reese Jordan on the 5th, Don Boyd on the 6th, and Carolyn Vater on the 10th. Happy Belated Anniversary to Bill and Monica Cotter on the 9th. Hope everyone had a wonderful day! Happy Birthday to James Douglas Leifeste and James Toeppich on the 12th, Barbara Krause on the 13th, Cole Michael Lloyd on the 14th, Don Baxter on the 15th, and Robert Hall on the 17th. Happy Birthday to all and may you each have many many more!
The “Perfect Love of God and Neighbor” Bible Study will continue at Trinity UMC in Castell from 10:30-noon on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. Also on the 12th, Art UMC will have Christmas Play practice at 6:00pm followed by a Finance Meeting at 7:00pm.
Sunday was the 15th Sunday after Pentecost and Reverend Suzanne Brantley gave the Message. The Gospel reading was Mark 7: 24-37.
At this point in the Gospel reading we see a new manner or phase evolve in Jesus’ ministry. In the past He had remained in Galilee or in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee, but now He travels farther to the north to the region of Tyre and Sidon, which were two port cities on the Mediterranean Sea northwest of Galilee. After the recent trying confrontation with the Jewish authorities, Jesus traveled to this area to rest and instruct his disciples. Because of this, He wanted no one to know He was present. In verses 25-30 we see that Jesus’ presence was quickly made known. After hearing about Him, a Gentile (Greek) woman born in Syrian Phoenicia (Modern Lebanon) came to Jesus begging Him to cast a demon out of her young daughter. At the time the woman approached Jesus, He was teaching his disciples, called figuratively His children. His metaphoric reply was to test the intent and her desire and faith. In verse 27, Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” In this metaphor Jesus refers to the Children as the lost sheep of Israel-the Jews. Jesus’ point here is that because of His commitment to Israel, the gospel was to be given first to the Jews. The Bread is God’s covenanted blessings (gospel) and the little dogs refers to the Gentiles. Jesus’ reference to the little dogs is not an expression of contempt. Again, He is testing her. In verse 28, she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” (This is the only time Jesus is addressed as “Lord” in the entire Gospel of Mark) She had understood His test and her words revealed her faith and humility. Jesus cast out the demon from her daughter even though she was not in His presence.
In verse 31 we find Jesus journeying southeast of the Sea of Galilee to Decapolis. The people there brought a man to Jesus who was deaf and had a speech impediment. They begged Jesus to put His hand on him. Jesus took the man aside and put His fingers in his ears and He spat and touched the man’s tongue. Jesus looked up to heaven and sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha”, that is, “Be opened.” Immediately he could hear and speak plainly. Jesus could have healed the man with a single word, but He always seemed to respond to people’s attitudes and requests accordingly. They asked Him to touch the deaf-mute man and He did.
Jesus told the people to tell no one, but it was to no avail. Jesus knew that His growing popularity with the people along with the opposition from the religious leaders could start a crisis before His ministry was completed.
Until next time and we continue our journey with Jesus……………
Peace to all