1.29.23 Worship Preview "Serve: Examples and Appeals"
Press Release: for Jan. 28, 2023 edition.
First United Methodist Church
This Weekend: Sunday at 10:30am “Serve: Examples and Appeals” Scriptures: John 13:3-17, Micah 6:1-8, and Romans 12:1-21 – with Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching.
We’ve talked, the past two weeks, about knowing Christ – which is more than just agreeing with a creed or answering trivia questions but engaging, with intentional energy and time, in relationship and about growing in Christ, a lifelong journey of taking the next step, engaging more deeply in spiritual practice and being conformed to the image of Christ. Jesus is our Savior, and our example of what a human life can be. This week we continue to explore our mission statement here at First UMC and the definition of Spiritual Formation I’ve shared by exploring what we mean by serving in Christ.
The Scriptures noted above share examples and appeals. Micah’s call to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” is a favorite quote of many. We will look at the context a bit – God is calling Israel to account and setting the mountains (creation itself) as the jury. Israel protests “what are we to do?” The call to justice, kindness and humility is the mountains response - what God has “already told.” Jesus own model of service is shown in his washing of feet. Our culture shies away from such a practice, times have changed. In the ancient near east, washing feet was routine. Open sandals and stone or dirt paths left feet dusty and, especially in wealthier households, a guest feet were washed both as a comfort and a means of cleanliness. It was basic hospitality – the shock of this passage isn’t that feet are cleansed or touched – it’s that Jesus does it. This is the role of the servant, the lower members of the household. It mirrors Jesus’ humility in becoming flesh. He notes that he “sets the example” for his followers.
Finally, we’ll look at Romans 12 – and it’s appeal. This chapter itself could be a sermon series. How do we live lives “worthy”? How do we offer ourselves as “living sacrifices.” How do our lives reveal the “marks of a true Christian”? It is a magnificent reflection on what it means to be a disciple. The good news is that we do not do these things on our own or of ourselves – no, rather it is “by the gracious working of God’s Spirit within us!” Service, understood in a Wesleyan theological framework, is not a way of earning grace or achieving anything in ourselves – it is an expression of response, flowing out of the gift of God’s grace in our lives. We participate in what Christ is doing.
No matter where you are on your own journey of faith, you are invited to join in worship and celebration at 10:30am at 301 S. National, coming just as you are, with your questions, doubts and hopes - and to experience the transformative, healing love and grace of Christ - which makes us whole. Visit www.firstumcfsks.org/newvisitors for more information on what to expect.
Upcoming Events: Wednesday, Feb 1, 5:30pm Feeding Families in His Name – this weekly free meal is available to everyone without obligation. A “to-go” meal is distributed under the portico at 301 S. National. We are thankful for all the volunteers from other area churches and community groups that make this meal possible each week.
Mark your calendar for our next “Shepherd’s Center: Adventures in Learning” event coming March 10th!