Wesley Word – January 4, 2023
To go along with service on: Sunday, January 8, 2023
- Traditional Hymn: #548 In Christ There is No East or West
- Contemporary Song: I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever
Exploring Truth – A Light to the Nations: No Partiality
Acts 10:34-43 & Matthew 3:13-17
We are continuing with our Epiphany series: A Light to the Nations. Through 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.
This week, we remember the Baptism of Jesus, a major epiphany that shows us who Jesus is. The voice of the Father proclaims Jesus to be his own beloved Son in whom he is well pleased.
However, we are going to focus this week on the reading from Acts chapter 10. If you have a chance, I would highly encourage you to read the whole chapter.
Acts chapter 10 is the story of the conversion of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion. Last week, when we talked about the wise men, we said that the wise men were as non-Jewish as you could get. Cornelius would be even more hated. Cornelius was not just a Gentile, not just a foreigner, but also a Roman military officer. Cornelius would have been seen as an oppressor of the Jewish people. But Cornelius was also what was known as a God-fearer, a Gentile who worshiped the God of Israel without fully converting to Judaism.
One day, Cornelius was praying and an angel told him to send for a man named Peter. Peter, meanwhile, was having an epiphany of his own. God was working on him to break down the fear, prejudice, and hatred in his heart so that he could share the gospel with Cornelius. Cornelius believed and was baptized, making him the first Gentile convert to Christianity.
We see God breaking down barriers and preparing people to share the gospel and preparing people to receive it. Jesus is a light to all the nations. In God, there is no partiality.
New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/
- January 4 Matthew 4:12-25
- January 5 Matthew 5:1-26
- January 6 Matthew 5:27-48
- January 7 Matthew 6:1-24
- January 8 Matthew 6:25-7:14
- January 9 Matthew 7:15-29
- January 10 Matthew 8:1-17
- January 11 Matthew 8:18-34
Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity
We take pictures of our children/loved ones in school, at church, playing, at Christmas time, on their birthdays, and many other occasions. We were pleased with them as they grew up and we are pleased with them today. Pictures show a lot of things that our children did or in some cases, did not do. However more than anything, these pictures show that these are OUR kids and I mean all of our kids! We are a village raising and investing in these kids together. They belong to us. And we love them!
God did not need to take pictures of His son. He knew exactly what His son was doing and loved Him. God was pleased with His son, Jesus. I know He was, because the Bible tells us that He was. When Jesus was baptized, the Bible tells us that there was a voice from heaven that said, “This is my Son and I love Him. I am very pleased with Him.”
When we trust in Jesus as our Savior, we become the children of God. Our baptism is like an official adoption ceremony. God loves us from the very beginning when we become His children because that is what He wants us to be.
God created us in His image, so I know He doesn’t need photos of us to know what we look like, and just like us being with the kids and people we love for milestones and miseries, God is right next to us for us to turn to for joy and comfort. God says to us, “You are my son. You are my daughter. And I love you!”
- WOW resumes January 11th, 6:00pm.
- 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.
- 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.