Jan 27 2015

Ponder Anew: The Places We Worship

Call to Gather for Worship You’ve probably heard someone say, “I can worship anywhere.” Well, in a sense that’s true. Anything done in response to God’s work in the world and our lives is itself an act of worship. But there’s something about coming together. At least there should be. And when we do so … Continue reading The Places We Worship

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/the-places-we-worship/

Jan 27 2015

Reflections on the The Word and World: The Grace found in the Common and Ordinary

   Let’s talk about the Christian Year. Are you familiar with…

   Easter? Yes, we’ve heard of that. 
   Christmas? Of course, we know about that. Everyone knows about that.
   Lent? Isn’t that the time when we are getting ready for Easter? 
   Advent? I recall hearing a preacher say it’s the four Sundays before Christmas where we prepare and anticipate the coming of baby Jesus.
   Common Time? What? Huh? I don’t know much about that. When is it?

   Common Time,  also known as Ordinary Time, is located at two different places in the year of the Church’s worship calendar. Don’t worry too much if it is not a season you recognize because it was only recently introduced in 1969. The Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s brought about sweeping changes to the way Roman Catholics interacted with the rest of the Christian world, how they organized themselves, and even how they patterned their worship. One of the most significant changes was to the way they designated the Sundays after Epiphany in January – when we mark the visit of the wise-men bringing gifts to Jesus – and the Sundays after Pentecost in May or June – when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to birth the church. Starting in 1969, Catholics and most Protestant churches refer to these two seasons as Common Time. 
   Christians have been thinking about the time since the early days after Jesus departed the first disciples and ascended into heaven. But, what value is there to time? Fifteen years ago in seminary, I highlighted these words of James White, 

 The calendar of the early church centered upon what God had done and continued to do through the Holy Spirit. The point of the Christian year is that all is done for us. All we have to do is accept what God has done. Then we really are free to act. The church’s liturgical year both underscores the futility of our efforts and exults in God’s victories for us. In short, the church year is a constant reminder of gifts that we cannot create but can only accept. 
- Introduction to Christian Worship, p. 67

  I like to think that our worship helps us to recite the marvelous works of God in history and in our stories. For me, Common Time is the reminder that even though every day is not a major holiday or date to celebrate a certain event in history, every day and week is a gift to be used. We can use ordinary days and common moments to praise God for the constant grace we have been given in the living of our lives. 
   Grace and Peace to you, Scott  


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/the-grace-found-in-the-common-and-ordinary/

Jan 27 2015

Allan R. Bevere: Doubting Thomas Apparently Had Quite a Reputation

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allanbevere/ROss/~3/Oe90yusJgDo/doubting-thomas-apparently-had-quite.html

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/doubting-thomas-apparently-had-quite-a-reputation/

Jan 27 2015

Enter the Rainbow: Life is Too Short …

Complete this sentence: “Life is too short to … “

How did you finish it? “ … hold a grudge?” “… be boring?” “… worry?” Or maybe something practical, like “…drink bad coffee?”

The Beatles think that “life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friends.” That’s a line from their 1965 #1 hit, “We Can Work It Out.”

What if we could all adopt that attitude? How would the world change if more people believed that life is just too short to fuss and fight with one another?

Or, as the apostle Paul might put it, what if more people would “lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Actually it isn’t that Paul “might” put it that way. It’s that he DID. That’s in the book of Ephesians, right at the beginning of chapter 4.

A life “worthy of the calling” of Christ is much too short “for fussing and fighting, my friends!”

Why does it seem to be so difficult for people to avoid animosity? Maybe it is because we think “unity” means the same thing as “uniformity,” and that means if we’re not in lock-step agreement with one another, we must be bitter enemies?

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that life is far too short to think that way. I’d rather work it out. Life is very short; surely we can work it out!

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/life-is-too-short/

Jan 27 2015

UM & Global: Malaria nets and John Wesley’s three rules

On Saturday, the New York Times posted an article entitled “Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets are Used to Haul Fish In.”  This article described instances in which mosquito nets had been used by very poor fishing villages in Africa for the …

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/malaria-nets-and-john-wesleys-three-rules/

Jan 27 2015

Tom Lambrecht | Good News Magazine: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right? Part 3

As Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church’s decision to delay paying apportionments for 2015 continues to generate lively discussion, allow me to offer a few observations about some of the other arguments against withholding apportionments. Once again, I am not advocating the withholding of apportionments, and I have always encouraged the churches I served in pastoral […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/do-two-wrongs-make-a-right-part-3/

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