Posts Tagged ‘light’

Wise Men

December 2, 2014

wise men

Do you remember the story of the Three Wise Men who came to visit Jesus. They were led by a shining star that did show them the way to Jesus. They came bearing lavish gifts that would help Mary and Joseph care for and protect the Christ child.

I found myself thinking about the meaning of this story and how we could apply it to our lives today, some two thousand years later. First of all they came on faith. Not on knowledge of the one true God. Nothing says they were even Jewish. God somehow spoke to them and encouraged them and being “Wise Men” they came. Many of us are so wrapped up in our own lives that we give very little time to listening to our God. So the meaning may be that we should really listen to our God through our scriptures, through others and through that small still voice that speaks to us at times.

Another meaning may be that we are to be as generous with our gifts as these Wise Men were. Not just our monetary gifts but also our time and talents. Jesus was almost two years old when the Wise Men came. Their time spent in seeking Him out was extensive, no drive around the corner.

Just one more thought on the meaning, at least in my limited mind. They followed a light. So should we. Jesus Christ is the light that can begin to cure the world. The only problem is our shining/sharing that light. He offers to fill us with His light so that we can shine brightly out into a dark world. It is in our words and actions that we choose to either shine or climb under a basket. We should each and every one be that city on a hill that can be seen for miles.

Let your light shine this Christmas season by being faithful, generous and bold in your witness. That is how we go and make disciples of the whole world.

Have a Merry, very bright Christmas and be a blessing to someone else,

Pastor Randy

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

March 25, 2013

I ran across this article or lead in to a sermon and found it really does apply to so many of us. Read it and meditate on it. Ask yourself what it is that Jesus Christ will save you from when you call on His Name?

Pastor Randy

Save Us

When we wave our palms and boldly cry out, “Hosanna,” do we dare imagine what we really want God to save us from? Save me from anger. Save me from cancer. Save me from depression. Save me from debt. Save me from the strife in my family. Save me from boredom. Save me from getting sent back to Iraq. Save me from the endless cycle of violence. Save me from humiliation. Save me from staring at the ceiling at three a.m. wondering why I exist. Save me from bitterness. Save me from arrogance. Save me from loneliness. Save me, God, save me from my fears.

In viewing Palm Sunday from that angle, we can begin to see the potential for some real depth in this celebration, for embedded in our quaint pageantry is an appeal to God that originates in the most vulnerable places inside of us; and it bubbles, almost beyond our control, to the surface. “Hosanna.” “Save us.” Please God take the broken places that will tear us apart and make them whole. We beseech you, God, jump into the water and drag our almost-drowned selves to shore. “Save us.” “Hosanna.”

Scott Black Johnston, Save Us

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

July 11, 2012

Friday, July 6th, I celebrated my 62nd birthday.  I was asked what I wanted to do on my birthday so I told Jane that I wanted the grandkids and her to take me to see Spiderman and go out to eat.  We enjoyed the show and the meal was good too, but the best part was spending the evening with family.  The only way it could have been better is if the Parzens, Tracie and Jeremy, could have been here with our newest granddaughter Georgia.

I hope it is obvious to the world that family is very important to me. Having loving relationships with children and grandchildren are important and must be one of our most important life priorities. Just as we show our love for our children and grandchildren, as Mother’s and Father’s, we must allow our Savior to work within our lives to provide that witness of love for them through Him.  They will see in us His love and look for that “Spirit of Love” for themselves.

We must be strong and faithful in our love for our God.  Remember the words of Joshua, “but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Have a blessed day! Tell those in your family that you love them and show them your love is from God through you.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love “is.”

Pastor Randy

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

June 18, 2012

I was just thinking about the Twelve Commandments or is it maybe thirteen. You do remember Jesus telling us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves? Of course those would be eleven and twelve but where is thirteen? Well let’s look in John 15:12 where Jesus tells us “This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you!” You may be thinking that they all say we should love each other and that loving God and loving our neighbor are actually a part of the original Ten. I would say that Jesus made sure that we knew the original Ten were essential and if we were not following His love commandments we would not be using the glue that holds them all together. Remember from Mark:

Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, Mar 12:30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ Mar 12:31 The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

So love would be essential to all that we do and who we are as Christians and is punctuated in John 15:12 with “love one another as I have loved you.” He is telling His disciples that love is what will hold His Church together. Can you see now how important love is to our Christian beliefs? Can you also see how divided the Christian church is? Do you think that love is left out of the equation in the differences we have in our denominations and the teachings that divide us? Yes, I think there is much hatred and bigotry “exclusiveness” in some “Christian” churches today because they pick and choose scripture that suits their own priorities. They then make those scripture primary over the “thirteen commandments.”

Jesus tells us that if love is not in the equation then it is not of Him. Jesus was very wise in His teachings and I sometimes wonder why Christian churches don’t listen to Him. Love your neighbor as yourself! That means you cannot pick and choose by color of skin, ethnicity, language spoken, denomination, immersion or sprinkling or affluency. Just love your neighbor!

Pastor Randy

Lectionary Scriptures for 6-17-12

June 11, 2012

Holy Thursday – Pastor’s Ponderings, Wonderings, Wanderings

April 6, 2012

Last night at Wesley United Methodist Church we held a Holy/Maundy Thursday Service. We read from John 13:1-17, 31-35 and from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Read the Passion of Christ from John 18:1-19:42 and received Holy Communion.

We received Holy Communion last because we wanted the Passion of Christ to be fresh on our minds and in our hearts when we received the gift He has given us.

We are fast closing out the season of Lent. A time when we should be focusing more on Christ and less on ourselves. Remembering Jesus’ teachings about being servants to all. In Jesus’ day the lowliest of lowly jobs was to have to wash someone’s feet. The footwear of choice was a sandal of some sort and feet were usually pretty dirty. Walking around in the streets of Jerusalem was a dusty endeavor with all kinds of animal droppings and such to be dodged so it is pretty easy to understand why Jesus used such a lowly example of servant hood to example to His disciples what it meant to be a servant to others. He showed them in His washing of their feet that the love He had for them was able to go to extremes for them. Even the extreme of willingly, voluntarily giving His very own life for them. In giving His life He exampled the very depths of suffering that He would go to because He loved them (us) all so much. Such depths as being beaten, spit upon, whipped in the most cruel and punishing way to cause the most damage without causing death. Then He was paraded through the streets carrying His own Cross to be nailed to it and left to die.

Who among those you know would be willing to do that for the one’s you love! Many over the centuries have given their lives for what they believe in. They have become Martyr’s for the cause and love of Jesus Christ. That is the extreme example so what do you do in your every day life to example Jesus’ love for everyone you meet every day. That is really why He gave himself up for us. To help us think about thinking about others. How do you serve every day? What are your thought’s about people and who they are? Why do you ignore those in need? Questions we all need to dig deep down into to search our own hearts and maybe we can allow the Holy Spirit to work within us.

Have a blessed day by being the servant to the world and the one’s you love that Christ calls you to be,

Pastor Randy

Lectionary Scriptures for February 26th, 2012 – First Sunday in Lent

February 20, 2012

Pastor’s Ponderings, Wanderings, Wonderings

February 13, 2012

Mark 1:40-45  –  40 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

As I read this scripture from the Gospel of Mark I was struck with the desire this outcast had to be healed from this disfiguring, crippling, slow death disease.  Jesus shows us His compassion in His willingness to heal this man.  We see the Leper’s desire in his daring to even think about approaching a group of Jewish men walking down the road.  This leper came to Jesus even though he knew that if he got within 50 paces the Law said that the men were within their right to throw stones at him to keep him at a safe distance.  He also was required by Law to shout unclean whenever he was coming upon people.  Can you just imagine the compassion that led Jesus to walk up to this man and touch him even though under the Law Jesus would be considered unclean himself.  I don’t know but it seems to me that Jesus was there alone with the Leper.  The disciples probably kind of hung back to keep the proper distance.

This thought pattern led me to think of how many of us truly seek healing from the touch of Jesus Christ.  Many of us are plagued by diseases of the heart, mind and soul.  Our spirits are held back and our spiritual growth is stunted because we hang on to the disease we have.  It could be drugs or alcohol or sex or pornography or greed or selfishness or jealousy or many other diseases that cripple our souls.  Jesus wants us to seek Him out like this leper did.  He wants us to call out to Him because we want to be healed by Him.  He can and will set us free from the disease that is plaguing us.  Is the life you lead making you feel unclean?  Do people shun you because of your actions?  Seek out Jesus and call on Him.  Seek His healing touch.  Then go out and tell everyone who healed you.

Have a blessed week,

Randy

Lectionary Scriptures for February 19th, 2012

February 13, 2012

Lectionary Scripture February 12th, 2012

February 6, 2012