Posted by: Pauline | December 17, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday December 24

2 Samuel 11:1-27

This is one of the better-known stories where one of the heroes of the Bible behaved in a way that was far from heroic. Unbelievers point to it as a reason not to believe in a God who would show favor to a man who acted as David did. Believers, however, see it as evidence of the divine inspiration of Scripture, because it lays bare the ugly sins that men would generally prefer not to include in the history of one of their greatest heroes.

We are told next to nothing about Bathsheba, other than that she was beautiful. We do not know whether she was pleased or appalled at the king’s attraction to her, whether she submitted to him in fear or cooperated in an affair that would lead to her becoming wife to the king and mother to his heir. Her husband Uriah is an honorable man, and probably was a good husband to her. But however she felt about all this, she was caught up in events beyond her power to control, and ultimately played a role shaping the royal line, affecting all generations to follow.

Matthew 1:6b-11

Here Bathsheba is not even mentioned by name, only as the wife of Uriah. But that she is mentioned at all in a genealogy is unusual. Along with Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth, she is acknowledged for the small part she played in the lineage of the Messiah, as God used men and women to accomplish His purpose.

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Posted by: Pauline | December 17, 2017

Upcoming events: week of December 18

This Week

Note: there will be no Bible study on Tuesdays or Wednesdays until January

Tuesday, December 19

6 p.m. Believe

Wednesday, December 20

6 p.m. Joint Session meeting
6:30 p.m. Youth Group

Thursday, December 21

6 p.m. Believe

Sunday, December 24

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service
7 p.m. Christmas Eve service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, December 26

6 p.m. Believe

Thursday, December 28

6 p.m. Believe

Posted by: Pauline | December 10, 2017

Upcoming events: week of December 11

This Week

Tuesday, December 12

10:15 Bible Study
6 p.m. Believe

Wednesday, December 13

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, December 14

6 p.m. Believe

Saturday, December 16

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, December 17

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service including Youth Christmas program

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, December 19

10:15 Bible Study
6 p.m. Believe

Wednesday, December 20

6:30 p.m. Youth Group
6:30 p.m. Bible Study
6:30 p.m. Session

Thursday, December 21

6 p.m. Believe

Sunday, December 24

7 p.m. Christmas Eve service

Posted by: Pauline | December 4, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday December 10

Joshua 6:15-25

Archeological excavations of Jericho show that it was a well-fortified city, with both an inner and outer wall. Supplies of grain have been found in the ruins, so the city must have been destroyed shortly after harvest. There was also a spring within the city, so the people were prepared to sit out a lengthy siege. The “siege” lasted only seven days, however, before the walls came tumbling down and the Israelite soldiers captured the city.

Only one section of the wall did not collapse, presumably where Rahab’s house was located. Rahab would not have known much about the God of Israel, but she had heard about His wondrous acts in delivering His people from their enemies. As a resident of Jericho, her people were among those enemies, but she chose to shift her loyalty to the Israelites and their God, and was able to become a part of God’s people.

Matthew 1:4-6a

The genealogies in the Bible often read as a catalog of mostly unfamiliar, unpronounceable names. Occasionally a familiar name shows up, like David. But one lesson of the genealogies is that every link in the chain matters. David would not have been born if not for each one of his ancestors – even the mostly unnamed women in his family tree.

Posted by: Pauline | December 3, 2017

Upcoming events: week of December 4

Tuesday, December 5

10:15 Bible Study
11:30 a.m. Women’s Guild at Corner Market
6 p.m. Believe

Wednesday, December 6

6:30 p.m. Youth Group
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, December 7

6 p.m. Believe
7 p.m. Choir practice

Sunday, December 10

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service
Congregational Meeting following the worship service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, December 12

10:15 Bible Study
6 p.m. Believe

Wednesday, December 13

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, December 14

6 p.m. Believe

Saturday, December 16

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, December 17

Youth Christmas program during worship service

Posted by: Pauline | November 26, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday December 3

Genesis 38:6-26

This is not a well-known Bible story. It is not “uplifting,” and there are no good examples to follow. God is mentioned only twice, and both times He is putting a wicked man to death. Moreover, some understanding of certain cultural practices, very different from our own, is necessary in order to make sense of the story.

Yet when it comes to character and motivation, these people are not so different from people today. Onan does not want to contribute to another family member getting a larger portion of the inheritance. Judah does not want his youngest son to marry a woman whose first two husbands have died fairly young. Tamar wants a son, and is willing to go to great lengths to have one.

By itself, the story does not seem to have much purpose, other than to relate the ways that people mess up their own lives and other people’s lives. But many centuries later, it will be seen how God’s purpose was fulfilled even in a messed-up family like Judah’s.

Matthew 1:1-3

Genealogies often seem mind-numbingly boring, except to some historians and to the people whose own family is being traced. But when we read the genealogy of Jesus, we learn of some surprising people in his ancestry. Tamar’s story may not have seemed uplifting, but God used her to keep alive the family line that would eventually lead to Jesus.

Posted by: Pauline | November 26, 2017

Upcoming events: week of November 27

Tuesday, November 28

10:15 Bible Study
6 p.m. Believe

Wednesday, November 29

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Saturday, December 2

6 p.m. Greening of the Church

Sunday, December 3

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service
6 – 7:30 p.m. Hayride and Christmas Caroling

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, December 5

10:15 Bible Study
11:30 a.m. Women’s Guild at Corner Market
6 p.m. Believe

Wednesday, December 6

6:30 p.m. Youth Group
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

 

Sunday, December 10

Congregational Meeting following worship service

Sunday, December 17

Youth Christmas program during worship service

Posted by: Pauline | November 19, 2017

Scriptures for November 29

Proverbs 31:26-31

Modern women may be uncomfortable with – or indignant about – the lower status of women, compared with men, in ancient Israel. But this passage in Proverbs is evidence that this lower status did not necessarily mean a lack of respect or dignity. Of course, since the source of Proverbs 31 is given as the teachings of King Lemuel’s mother, the woman described here may be the ideal of an elite class in society, not the typical working-class wife.

The qualities listed in these verse, however, are virtues in anyone, man or woman. Wisdom, kindness, diligence, and reverence for God are just a few of the qualities that make her praiseworthy, and which we can aspire to display in our own lives today.

Matthew 25:1-13

Wedding traditions in Jesus’ day were quite different from our own, but both then and now, weddings generally involve a lot of preparation and a lot of people. Imagine the consternation at most weddings if the bridegroom were delayed more than a few minutes, let alone long enough that people began to fall asleep.

One significant difference, however, is that in Jesus’ day, as today in some parts of the world where people’s lives are not so regimented by clocks, there was not an exact prearranged time for an event like a wedding to start. When the important people arrived – the bridegroom being the most important in this case – it would be time to start. The foolish virgins seem to have expected the wedding to start when they were ready, and were unprepared to be kept waiting for someone more important than themselves.

Posted by: Pauline | November 19, 2017

Upcoming events: week of November 20

Tuesday, November 21

10:15 Bible Study
7 p.m. Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at UMC

Wednesday, November 22

No Clothes Depot
No Bible Study

 

Sunday, November 26

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, November 28

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, November 29

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Saturday, December 2

6 p.m. Greening of the Church

Sunday, December 3

6 – 7:30 p.m. Hayride and Christmas Caroling

Posted by: Pauline | November 12, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday November 19

Micah 6:6-8

Human religions have come up with various ideas of what their gods require of their worshipers. Offering sacrifices of some kind is nearly universal. The idea that one can satisfy the deity with a large sacrifice has not doubt appealed to many people because it would allow them to show off how big a sacrifice they were bringing, while being easier in many ways than displaying such virtues as honesty and humility. But Micah makes it clear that the God of Israel was more interested in people’s hearts and behavior than in any amount of sacrifices they might bring.

Luke 10:25-37

The parable of the Good Samaritan has such deep roots in our culture (whether the ideal is commonly lived out or not), that the word “Samaritan” has become synonymous in many people’s minds for “someone who helps a stranger,” and they would be surprised to find out that in Jesus’ time, a Samaritan was a member of an ethnic group despised by the Jews. That one of them was the hero of Jesus’ story must have galled many of his hearers.

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