Wesley Word – April 19, 2023

Carolyn Lemaster   -  

To go along with service on Sunday, April 23, 2023

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth – I Am The Way

John 14:1-14

We usually hear the first part of this text at funerals, but we do not often take the time to unpack it on Sunday. This Sunday, we will be taking a close look at how Jesus is the way to the Father and to the place in heaven that he is preparing for us. For this Wesley Word, I want to take a look at this big and confusing promise at the end of this passage that seems to say that Jesus will do whatever we ask him to do and give us whatever we ask for.

Of course, any of us who have been praying for any length of time know that we have prayed for lots of things we did not get. How does this make sense? The text itself gives us a qualifier. Jesus said, “If you ask for anything in my name…” 1 John 5:14 qualifies it even more by saying that God will hear us when we ask, “according to his will.”

There are some things that we cannot pray for in Jesus’ name. We know that we cannot pray for anything bad in Jesus’ name. We also can take silly prayers off the list. C.S. Lewis said, “If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life, where should I be now?”

That answers some of our questions about why God says no to our prayers. God answers every prayer, but sometimes the answer is no. However, that still leaves us with some of our most difficult problems. For example, we pray for healing for a loved one but instead of getting better, they die. It is in times like these we have to trust that as much as we might want something, as much as we think that it is the good and right thing, God knows better than we do, and what he wants is always better than what we want. We can always trust that God’s will is what is best for us and for the world. We can always pray in confidence for God’s will to be done.


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

  • April 19: Luke 19:28-48
  • April 20: Luke 20:1-26
  • April 21: Luke 20:27-47
  • April 22: Luke 21:1-28
  • April 23: Luke 21:29-22:13
  • April 24: Luke 22:14-34
  • April 25: Luke 22:35-53
  • April 26: Luke 22:54-23:12


Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

Funerals, directions, and the word no. Funerals are hard, they are for the people left behind. I kept this in mind while planning my funeral a couple years ago. Planning your own funeral in your 30’s is not an easy task. It’s very difficult, it’s sad and it’s also a loving thing to do. I sat on my porch before my first cancer surgery on an August evening with my husband, my best friend and my oldest child and very carefully laid out how and what I wanted at my funeral. I can say with complete certainty that after my second surgery and bleeding out in the recovery area that I knew everything would be okay as I had a plan just in case I didn’t make it. I knew my music choices would bring smiles and surprise some people and others would laugh through their tears. This I knew because I was following the direction that Jesus laid out for me. Jesus’ directions are very clear cut, He is the way, the truth and life. I knew then and I know now that this is the complete truth. Every decision I have faced, moving forward in the direction to lead me to this exact place in my life was God guiding me whether I knew it or not. As the ultimate direction giver, I was following. I’m a direction follower (except when cooking). To clearly follow directions that have been given to us in the Bible is not an easy task at times, this is the truth, but prayer must be the first direction we turn and not the last one. NO. I do not know anyone who likes to hear the word no. Let’s circle back to my cancer. No: your biopsies are not clear, no: your ultrasound does show it has moved to lymph nodes, no: you are not one of the people who can avoid radiation. By that point I felt like all I heard was not so good news and the word no. But then: no, I will not give up, no: I will not let this stop me from living, no: I will fight for my children, no: this will change my life, but I will still have my life to live. The word no can be used both ways. Depending on how you use it depends on how it affects you. From 3 words that feel like they have nothing in common, I think they have everything in common.

Jesus is the way, the truth and life. Another 3 words that have everything in common.

A song from my future funeral:

Irish Descendants – Rattlin’ Bog



  • WOW (Wesley on Wednesdays) 6:00 pm.
  • CAT Survey Town Hall – There will be a Town Hall meeting at 10:00am on Sunday, April 30th in Fellowship Hall to discuss the results of the CAT Survey. All are welcome. A brief written summary of the results is available at the church.
  • The Riverbend Bronze Handbell Ensemble—Saturday, April 29, at 2pm, will present a FREE concert with a free-will offering. Our Wesley Handbell Choir will join them for one piece and also play one solo piece. Riverbend Bronze is a premiere handbell ensemble that is based in the Quad Cities. The approximately 20-member ensemble last played at Wesley in 2017.
  • The Muscatine Youth, Children’s, & Littlest Angels’ Choirs’ Spring Concert is on Sunday, May 7, at 4pm at Wesley. All are invited to this free concert! The choirs are working hard and are excited to present their songs to the community. These volunteer community choirs are open to Muscatine area singers in kindergarten-12th grade.