Wesley Word – February 1, 2023

Carolyn Lemaster   -  

To go along with service on Sunday, February 5, 2023

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth – A Light to the Nations: Foolishness – Part 3

1 Corinthians 2:1-16

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. We are on the final week of a three-week series within a series on the theme of foolishness.

Although the Corinthians are God’s holy people through faith in Jesus Christ, they are still very foolish about many things. They have been foolish by dividing themselves over preferred leaders and they have been foolish about trying to be wise and sophisticated by the world’s standards.

In our text this week, Paul is continuing to make his point about Christians being foolish in the eyes of the world. Paul reminds them that he came with a simple message instead of trying to be eloquent.

Then Paul lifts up another reason for the Corinthians to not be proud of their “wisdom.” It is not like the Corinthians just figured out the gospel on their own. No, the gospel has to be proclaimed through the “foolishness of preaching.” And, it is not like the Corinthians heard the message and, all by themselves, it just made sense to them and they believed it.

Rather, it is only by the work of the Holy Spirit within us that they, and we, can understand and believe the gospel. This is part of what we, as Methodists, call prevenient grace, the grace that goes before. It is not our wisdom that helps us believe, it is God’s grace. We should be happy that we are foolish.

New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/

  • February 1          Matthew 21:23-46
  • February 2          Matthew 22:1-33
  • February 3          Matthew 22:34-23:12
  • February 4          Matthew 23:13-39
  • February 5          Matthew 24:1-28
  • February 6          Matthew 24:29-51
  • February 7          Matthew 25:1-30
  • February 8          Matthew 25:31-26:13

Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

At the beginning of a new year, it is traditional that we make resolutions. I personally do make New Year’s resolutions. I did, however, make resolutions when I turned 40: to learn a new language, travel more, be more present with my children (as much as I can with my oldest being wherever she is sent). Resolutions are promises concerning things that we will try to accomplish in the year to come. Some resolutions are easy to keep, others, not so much.  A wise man once made a list of resolutions that I want to share with you today. I believe that they are resolutions that will help to ensure that we will have a happy and prosperous New Year.

In the New Year, be sure to LIE, CHEAT, DRINK, SWEAR and STEAL more than you did last year.

LIE back and relax just a little more this new year. Let a little more life happen to you without so much worry.

CHEAT failure. Don’t be afraid to try something new because you think you may fail. It is through failure that we learn the most valuable lessons.

DRINK from the fountain of knowledge. Many people around you have already been down roads you are about to travel. Learn from mistakes they have made. Take what they have learned and use it.

SWEAR to do your best. All the time, in every situation. That is all anybody will ever ask.

STEAL a little time for God. Everyday takes a little more time to develop your relationship with God.

So, if you lie, cheat, drink, swear and steal just a little more this next year, you will have a profitable and enjoyable year ahead!

Pick one resolution: to read a book in the Bible that you have never read before, to try a new recipe once a month, learn how to paint a picture, walk more, spend more time with family with your phone sitting in the other room. Kids can pick a resolution: memorize the Lord’s prayer, pray every night before bed, help more in the kitchen.

“Although no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” –Carl Bard


  • 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 has been postponed; it will now launch on February 12th. Stay tuned for how to participate.
  • Highrise – We raised over $2,500 for Highrise UMC since Christmas Eve. Thank you.
  • Scout Sunday – Our Scout troops will be joining us for worship during the 11am service on February 12th.
  • Laundry Love Day is Sunday, February 12 – Bring your donations of laundry detergent, dryer sheets, plastic garbage bags and new socks (any kind, any size, any color).
  • New Membership Class – For those interested in becoming members of Wesley, Pastor Brian will host a New Membership Class on Sunday, February 26th at 10am during Sunday School in the Parlor.
  • Ash Wednesday Service – Wednesday, February 22nd, 7pm, at First Presbyterian Church.