Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Putting God to the Test

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.  (Malachi 3:10)

This may be one of the Bible's most misused texts. If you've ever watched televangelists preaching the "prosperity gospel" you know what I mean.  Hopefully we can all agree that this is not a promise that God will make us rich if we give 10% of our income to the church.  Yet, could there be an important message in these ancient words for 21st century Christians?  Join us on Sunday as we explore that question - and the challenge to "test God".  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MT25 Wrap-Up

This Sunday is the final week of PSUMC's MT25 Project and our youth will be planning and leading worship.  We have an amazing group of young people who have a passion for serving others.  They'll be sharing their experiences with UM Army last June, where they worked with other youth to touch the lives of folks in Pennsylvania.  Come and hear their stories about encountering the presence of Christ in "the least of these" as they worked on service projects in the community.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wrestling with the Text

This month we're studying the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) as part of our MT25 program.  It's a very challenging passage that most people would rather not deal with (including folks who count themselves among the "sheep").  Small groups of people have been gathering on Wednesday evening or Sunday morning to reflect on the parable and discuss what it means and what it might have to say to our 21st century lives.  The conversations have been candid and people have shared their struggle to be faithful to the expectations of the parable.  It can be encouraging to hear that others share your struggle and it builds a sense of camaraderie.  As C.S. Lewis said, "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one."  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Looking toward Sunday

This Sunday we continue our exploration of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats as part of our MT25 program.  Ponder this: The "sheep" and the "goats" both respond with surprise that Jesus was present in the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and imprisoned.  They both repeat the very same question ("Lord, when was it that we saw you...").  The difference between the righteous sheep and the unrighteous goats is in their motivation for helping (or not helping).  The goats would have served "the least of these" also, had known they would earn points for it.  The sheep simply did the right thing out of compassion, with no expectation of reward.