Wesley Word – March 22, 2023

Carolyn Lemaster   -  

To go along with service on Sunday, March 26, 2023

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth – 

Conversations With Jesus: Conversation With Mary and Martha

John 11:1-45

Our Lenten sermon series this year is Conversations With Jesus. On the First Sunday in Lent, we talked about Jesus’ conversation with the Devil during his temptation in the wilderness. On the Second Sunday, we listened in on Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. On the Third Sunday, we dropped in on Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well. Last week, we looked at Jesus’ conversation with the man born blind. This week, we are finishing up this series with Jesus’ conversation with Mary and Martha.

When we talk about Mary and Martha, the first conversation you might think of is the conversation these sisters had with Jesus in Luke 10, where Martha sat at Jesus’ feet while Mary did all the work. However, we are actually looking at the story from John 11, where Jesus raised their brother, Lazarus, from the dead. Many of you are familiar with the story, and I invite you to reread it today. What I want to focus on is the conversation that Jesus has with Mary and Martha in the middle of the story.

When Martha heard that Jesus had finally arrived, she ran out to meet him and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” You can sense the pain, disappointment, and frustration in her words. How often have we felt that God didn’t show up, or didn’t show up in time? Jesus, of course, is right on time because he has something even bigger planned than simply healing Lazarus, he plans to raise him from the dead. When Jesus tells Mary that Lazarus will rise again, she thinks he is just offering her some comforting words, like we might say, “They’re in a better place.”  But that is not Jesus’ point. Verses 25 and 26 are the “money” verses of this passage. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

The resurrection isn’t just a religious concept, nor is it merely a future event. Rather, the resurrection is a person, Jesus Christ. We find new life in a relationship with him. The question for us, as it was for Martha, is, “Do you believe this?”


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

  • March 22: Luke 5:12-28
  • March 23: Luke 5:29-6:11
  • March 24: Luke 6:12-38
  • March 25: Luke 6:39-7:10
  • March 26: Luke 7:11-35
  • March 27: Luke 7:36-8:3
  • March 28: Luke 8:4-21


Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

Sisters. We all know sisters, some of us ladies are sisters, parents to sisters, grandparents of sisters. I, myself, had no sister but I learned early on that I could have sisters, deeply close relationships with other females, we just don’t share blood. Coming into Christ means we all will have brothers and sisters. Cultivating these connections with each of our sisters and brothers in Christ is so very important. We, at some point (right on time) chose to become true believers in Christ, the scripture and put all our trust in God. Much like Martha we know Jesus is the Messiah, and when Martha lets her sister Mary know Jesus is here, she runs out. At times we have friends that we tell all about God, Jesus and the scripture, and they run toward it with no hesitation. They turn to us, as sisters and brothers in Christ, looking for comfort and prayers. Jesus performed this miracle on his friend. The sisters were given a second chance at life with their brother, and he was given a truly second life!

We, all, sisters and brothers, have been given that chance as well. The very moment we opened our hearts to the Holy Spirit, the moment we turned to Jesus and turned our back on the life we were living before. What have we done with this second life we were given? Have we cultivated our relationships with our sisters and brothers? Do we honor God? Did we teach our kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews and all those around us what it means to be a Christian?

This week let’s take an inventory of how our relationships have changed with our blood family after coming into Christ. Think about all the ways turning to Christ has strengthened your relationships with your family. Do we speak kinder to them, are we more forgiving? Have you made friendships with sisters and brothers in Christ based at first only on your love of God?

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”



  • WOW (Wesley on Wednesdays) 6:00 pm.
  • The Jackson Concert Series will welcome Monroe Crossing Bluegrass Ensemble at 7:30pm on Thursday, March 23, at Wesley! This is a FREE concert with no tickets required. This Twin-Cities based band was named in honor of Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass Music. They perform an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and original bluegrass. They have played nearly 2500 concerts since they formed.
  • Children’s program– Join us on March 26th at 10:00am for a Lenten play presented by the children of Wesley!
  • Muscatine County Habitat for Humanity Annual Soup & Sandwich Lunch – Sunday, March 26, 11:00am-1:00pm at Wesley Church. $5.00.  Learn about Habitat for Humanity and meet the newest partner family.
  • Men’s Lenten Breakfast – United Methodist Churches in the area are hosting a series of breakfasts for Men during Lent each Saturday at 8am.
    • March 25 @ New Hope UMC
    • April 1 TBD
  • Lenten Taizé Services – Sunday evenings during Lent at 5:15pm in the chapel March 26 and April 2.
  • Pickle Ball!  Come on Tuesdays 11:00-12:30 on March 28 and April 4 in the Wesley Family Life Center. We will practice and play a game. Call Mary, 563-299-7050, if interested.
  • Palm Sunday Breakfast— 8:00-11:00 am. Pancakes with a large variety of toppings, hot scrambled eggs with sausage (both pork and turkey), fruit, juice, and coffee. The cost is by donation. Money received will go towards the planned trip for our youth this summer.
  • On Palm Sunday, the Muscatine Children’s Choir will be participating in the 11:00am worship service by singing the songs ‘Antiphonal Hosanna’ and ‘A Lenten Love Song.’ Sally Potter is the Children’s Choir director.


Holy Week Schedule

Palm Sunday, April 2

8:00am-11:00 Pancake Breakfast
8:00 am           Chapel Service
9:00 am           Celebration Service
10:00 am         Sunday School Classes
11:00 am         Traditional Service
5:15 pm           Taizé Service

Maundy Thursday Service, April 6 @ 7:00 pm

Good Friday Service, April 7 @ 7:00 pm

Easter, April 9
8:00 am           Chapel Service
9:00 am           Celebration Service
11:00 am         Traditional Service