Saturday, May 25, 2013

Looking Toward Sunday

"The Central Question"
First Sunday after Pentecost
May 26, 2013

This Sunday we'll be looking at Psalm 8 (you can read it here) and pondering the central question asked by the psalmist: "What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?"  

It's easy to feel insignificant in a world as large as ours - even more so when you consider the incomprehensible vastness of the universe.  And yet, as the psalm reminds us, each one of us matters to God. Join us as we take a closer look at Psalm 8 and our place in the scheme of things.  

See you on Sunday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Looking Toward Sunday

"The Spirit of Pentecost"

Pentecost Sunday
May 19, 2013

This week we'll be using the traditional reading for Pentecost from the Book of Acts (you can read it here) as five of our youth make their Confirmation. They have been working with their mentors since September in preparation to make their profession of faith and become full members of Pleasant Street United Methodist Church. 

Join us as we celebrate these five young people's decision to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.  May the Spirit of God fall afresh on them (and us!)

See you on Sunday!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Looking Toward Sunday

"Plan A"

Ascension Sunday
May 12, 2013

This week we observe Ascension Sunday by reading the opening verses of the Acts of the Apostles (you can read the text here).  It's the story of Jesus' departure from earth and ascension into heaven.  As he leaves his somewhat confused apostles behind, Jesus commissions them to "be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth".  While it may have seemed risky to entrust the gospel to the apostles with all their foibles and faults and flaws, they succeeded spectacularly. The Christian movement grew like a raging wildfire.

These days that wildfire seems to be burning itself out - at least for mainline Western-world Protestants. Could it be that we have stopped being Jesus' witnesses?  (Hint: One church consultant claims that the average United Methodist shares his or her faith with another person once every 38 years.)  Can we take the call to be Jesus' witnesses as seriously as his first followers?  And what would it take to do that?  

Join us on Sunday as we think about what the "Great Commission" means for us.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Looking Toward Sunday


Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 5, 2013

This week's reading is an excerpt from Jesus' "farewell discourse" - his final teachings and instructions to the disciples at the Last Supper. (You can read the passage here.) The discourse covers several chapters in the Gospel of John, but this small section includes Jesus' promise that his followers will not be left alone when he leaves them.  (Remember that this meal takes place the night before Jesus' crucifixion.) The Spirit will remain with them in Jesus' absence to give them peace and to continue the work that Jesus began in them.

We'll be focusing on the opening verse - Jesus' words, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” What does it mean for Jesus to make a home with us? How do we receive such a houseguest? And what would happen if that houseguest were to take up permanent residence with us? Join us as we reflect on those questions, and on our readiness to invite Jesus in to "make his home with us".

See you on Sunday!