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 World Service Fund, a talented group of global communicators, lead by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee, directs messaging that reaches people who have never set foot in one of our churches. Through billboards, digital advertising, video spots, radio and more, they give people outside the church a glimpse of who we are and what matters to us as Christians. 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.
Learn more about the work United Methodist Communications atwww.umcom.org and www.rethinkchurch.org.
God of our deepest joys and Alleluias! We sing our Resurrection songs this morning, not because of a miraculous historical event, but because you continue to bring life out of death and hope out of despair! When you rolled away the stone and let light enter Christ's tomb, you entrusted each of us who follow him to be bearers of light into the dark places of our world – carriers of the inexhaustible hope into lives filled with despair. May the joy of this morning, of the triumph of the Resurrection, empower us in our living out of these tasks, and in our generosity to support others who serve in our name. In the name of the risen Christ, we pray. Amen. (John 20:1-18)
Monday, November 12, 2012
Post-Temple, a Reflection on Mark 13:1-8
First, when the disciples say how great the temple is, Jesus responds by saying that it isn't going to last much longer. Although they were talking about an actual physical building, I want to use it as a metaphor for religion itself. According to recent research (see USA Today, for example, None is the second largest category, second only to Catholicism.)
How bad would it be if instead of almost everybody in America being a Christian that very few are? We know that the early Christians did fine without the temple as also did the Jews themselves. But, how would the world do without organized Christians to care for it?
That question underlies my second idea. Jesus told them "Many will come in my name and lead you astray."
So, I'm asking how many of these denominations and congregations within them and Christians belonging to those congregations, how many of them are living Christ-like lives and how many of us are leading others astray?
As we prepare for next week's celebration of the Reign of Christ, or you may think of it by its traditional name, Christ the King, let us reorient ourselves to be conveyors of Christ to the world.