Wesley Word – February 8, 2023

Carolyn Lemaster   -  

To go along with service on Sunday, February 12, 2023

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth – A Light to the Nations: Life and Death

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

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. This week, we are going way back to the end of the wilderness period as the people of Israel are preparing to enter the Promised Land.

Moses, nearing the end of his life and ministry, gathers the people together for one last sermon. He reminds them of everything God has done for them, everything he has taught them, and all the commandments they have been given. He tells them that God is offering them a choice between life, living in obedience to God’s commandments, and death. Moses also tells them that God’s commandments are not too difficult for them.

Some people seem to think that God has somehow stacked the deck on us by giving us a list of demands that we could never live up to. Of course, that would be unloving and unjust. God would not give us impossible commandments and then punish us for not keeping them. However, the Bible also is very clear that we are all sinners.

The secret to understanding this is understanding that God not only gives us the commandments, but God also gives us the ability to obey them by the power of the Holy Spirit. John Wesley said that along with every commandment, God gives us the promise that he will enable us to carry it out. This forms the basis for the distinctive Wesleyan doctrine of entire sanctification, that we can actually, with the help of the Holy Spirit, live the life that God has called us to live. As he did for the Israelites so long ago, God offers the whole world the choice of life and death.

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

  • February 8          Matthew 25:31-26:13
  • February 9          Matthew 26:14-46
  • February 10        Matthew 26:47-68
  • February 11        Matthew 26:69-27:14
  • February 12        Matthew 27:15-31
  • February 13        Matthew 27:32-66
  • February 14        Matthew 28:1-20
  • February 15        Mark 1:1-28

Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

Choices, we all have them. Nearly everything is a choice we made. Getting up with the alarm in the morning or hitting the snooze button, coffee or tea in the morning, breakfast or no breakfast, what we will wear to school/work, coat or no coat, sandals or boots. These are just a few of the choices my family has to make Monday-Friday. Some of these are easy choices to make. My house doesn’t drink coffee so tea is an easy choice. The weather helps us make the choice on what we wear and about coats. These are what I call the easy choices. I will be fine if I do not have my hot tea in the morning. My kids might be chilly if they choose to not dress for the weather, but it is not a life or death choice on most days (please know that when the wind chill is crazy low, I absolutely make sure they dress for the weather, even my teens!)

Now most of us have never been in a situation where we are around people and the choice is life or death, where you have to keep someone alive (think nursing/EMT, police, etc.). No, I am talking about choosing life or death, good or evil, heaven or no heaven.  Life or death, good and evil seem like easy choices. Who really is going to choose evil over good? Everyone has made at least one poor choice in their life; we are human after all. Sometimes we mess up when it comes to following God’s rules that we promised to obey. It happens. We are NOT Jesus, who is the only person to walk the earth that is free from all sin. He died for our sin not His. God clearly wants us to succeed. He gave us His Son, and we mess up (make a bad choice), we just have to turn back to God and receive His grace.

Challenge this week: Pick one day and try to keep track of how many times you have to choose in this time period. For parents of children I recommend doing a Saturday or Sunday unless you are at school with them all day (if that is the case, praise to you!)

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” – René Descartes



  • WOW February 8th, 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 has been postponed, it will now launch on February 12th. Stay tuned for how to participate.
  • Laundry Love Day is Sunday, February 12 – Laundry Love is a program of Trinity Episcopal Church that lets people in need come to Midtown Laundromat on the 4th Thursday of the month to do their laundry. We are asking for donations of laundry detergent, dryer sheets, plastic garbage bags and new socks (any kind, any size, any color). Bring your items to the church and put them in the laundry basket/container in the foyer.
  • Scout Sunday – Our Scout troops will be joining us for worship during the 11am service on February 12th.
  • Open Gym for Grades 2-6 – Monday, February 20, from 2-4 pm in the Wesley Family Life Center. There will be adult supervision with games and snacks.
  • New Membership Class – For those interested in becoming a member of Wesley Church, 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.
  • Men’s Lenten Breakfast – United Methodist Churches in the area are hosting a series of breakfasts for Men during Lent each Saturday at 8am.
    • February 25th @ Cedar Valley UMC
    • March 4th @ New Hope UMC
    • March 11th @ Sweetland UMC
    • March 18th @ Wesley UMC
    • March 25 @ Spangler Chapel UMC
    • April 1 TBD
  • Lenten Taizé Services – Dan Laaveg will lead a weekly Taizé service on Sundays during Lent from 5:15-5:45pm in the chapel. The ecumenical community of Taizé, France, has created a collection of simple and repetitive devotional music known as Taizé music. Please join us on February 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26, and April 2.