Offertory Prayer

Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through the Episcopal Fund, your church not only supports the Bishop who serves your conference, but the global work of our United Methodist episcopal leaders. Your giving makes possible their witness for the whole church in many areas including evangelism, justice ministries, global health and working with the world’s poor. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.

August 31, 2014 -- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide

Learn more about the work of the Council of Bishops of the UMC at: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/council-of-bishops

Holy God, we bring our gifts to your altar this morning, remembering that Jesus told us that if we were truly to be his disciples we would need to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow.” It’s tempting to try to follow, without taking the cross; or to try to follow, without denying ourselves. More often, we seek to simply take the name of “Christian” without the denying, the taking of the cross, or the following. Guide us, Lord, on this journey of discipleship. Use these gifts, and use us. In our Savior’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 16:21-28)

"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

Monday, April 26, 2010

How to tell if someone is a Christian, a Reflection on John 13:31-35

They had gathered for a meal, one that we know was their last meal together. Jesus insisted on washing their feet. At the meal, Jesus told them that one of them would betray him. When he identified Judas as the betrayer, Judas immediately went out into the dark (13:1-30).

Jesus speaks to the ones who remain.
"Now the Son of Man has been glorified and God has been glorified in him." Glorified, that is, made visible. It is now apparent that in Jesus, God is made visible to the world. Note the now.

"I am going to with you only a little longer. Where I am going you cannot come."
"I am giving you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you." Of course, this commandment was not new in the sense that they had never heard it before. See Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 6:4. What is new is that they will understand this commandment in terms of what Jesus does and what they will be willing to do.

He then told them the test by which Christians would be known--that they loved each other. Go back and read again: Now the Son of Man has been glorified and God has been glorified in him. By the love that Christians show each other, we can not only tell that they are Christians, we can see the glory of God.

Note: I am quoting generously from the commentary by Gail O'Day and Susan Hylen,

1 comment:

Vayhi said...

Spectacular timing! I've been wrestling with colleagues over an issue to which this directly speaks. I thank you for sharing!