Wesley Word – January 11, 2023
To go along with service on: Sunday, January 15, 2023
Exploring Truth – A Light to the Nations: In Every Place
Isaiah 49:1-7 & 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
We are continuing with our Epiphany series: A Light to the Nations. Throughout this Epiphany season we are going to discover who Jesus is and how he came, not just to be the Jewish Messiah, but the Savior of the whole world.
Our text from Isaiah is one of four “Servant Songs” about the Messiah in the book of Isaiah. (Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12) You may recognize Isaiah 53:1-12, the Song of the Suffering Servant, that we read often in Holy Week.
In this passage, God says that is too small a thing for Jesus to save only the nation of Israel. Instead, God is sending Jesus to all the nations so that salvation would reach the ends of the earth.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul reminds the Corinthian church that they are not in this alone. They are in this together with all those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Epiphany we need to have this season is that Christianity is no longer, if indeed it ever really was, a white, American, middle-class religion. The Christian center of gravity on the globe has shifted to Africa and there it is growing like wildfire. Christ has come to everyone in every place.
In my sermon on Sunday, I will be referencing some statistics about worship attendance in various countries. You can find that information here.
New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/
- January 11 Matthew 8:18-34
- January 12 Matthew 9:1-17
- January 13 Matthew 9:18-38
- January 14 Matthew 10:1-23
- January 15 Matthew 10:24-11:6
- January 16 Matthew 11:7-30
- January 17 Matthew 12:1-21
- January 18 Matthew 12:22-45
Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity
There are Christians all over the world, this we know for a fact. As Christians living in the United States, we are so very lucky. We are able to carry Bibles with us in public and not be worried about going to jail, or detained, beaten, and so on and so forth. We have freedom of religion. Jesus did die on the cross for each and every one of us. We may be (as a congregation, a church or as a Christian religion) lacking numbers in our pews weekly, monthly or yearly BUT we are free to come to church as we wish.
I can personally say that I have never thought once that Christianity was only for middle class, white Americans. How could it be? Jesus was born in the middle east and was born Jewish! Not white or middle class. In fact in the very beginning, it was said to a middle eastern man: “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.” Genesis 22:17
Remember in your prayers this week to really truly thank God for being able to pray without fear.
To learn more about persecuted Christians: https://www.persecution.com/globalprayerguide
- Open Gym for Wesley Kids—Grades 2-6, Monday, January 16, 2-4 pm in the Wesley Family Life Center. Games and Snacks!
- CAT Survey – Wesley will be participating in the CAT (Congregational Assessment Tool) provided by the Iowa Annual Conference. The CAT is an extensive survey for the whole congregation that will help us better understand the needs of our church. The survey will open the end of January. Stay tuned for how to participate.
- Highrise UMC – We designated our Christmas Eve offering to Adopt-A-Day at MSCA and Highrise UMC. Due to the weather, we had low attendance on Christmas Eve. We received enough to pay for the Adopt-A-Day (THANK YOU!) but did not have much left for Highrise. We would like to send a donation to Highrise at the end of January. If you would like to donate, please make your donation “Highrise.” Thank you.
- WOW – Wednesdays at 6:00 pm.
- 29th Annual Eagles and Ivories: January 19-22 http://www.muscatineartscouncil.org
Soup Supper: Friday, January 20—5:00-7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Music by the Mad Creek Mudcats
Syncopation Desserts: Saturday, January 21—5:00-7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Music by the Locust Street Boys
Volunteers are needed for the Soup Supper and Dessert Events: We will need pies or desserts, people to prepare soup, and people to help serve. Contact Mary Whitacre at 563-299-7050.
- Jazz Sunday is January 22—One service at 10:00 a.m. Special music by the Mad Creek Mudcats, led by Al Brotherton.
- Jackson Concert Series presents Skye Consort & Emma Bjӧrling Trans-Atlantic Band—Thursday, January 26, 2:30 pm.