Every month we provide you with an inspiring word from our pastor.
The excitement is in the air and the signs are everywhere: people sporting their favorite team’s jersey, heightened chatter in the news, at work, and at church, neighbors spying out the most coveted “man cave,” not to mention those dreadful lines at the supermarket as the supply of hot dogs, chips and dip vanish as if we’re preparing for an invasion.
The taste of imminent victory is contagious. Why? Because we were created for victory! Just as sports fans memorialize their team legends among the various Sports’ Halls of Fame, the Bible offers Christians the famous “Hall of Faith” in chapter eleven of the book of Hebrews: an extensive list of God’s people, both men and women “who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”
We were created for victory! As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, the smell of victory simply feeds on this God-given desire. Its power rests in the fact of the certainty of one thing: someone is going to win. During the months, weeks and hours leading up to the big game, fans of both teams are thoroughly convinced they are on the winning side. They bought the tee-shirt, found a friend with a big-screen TV, agreed that the loser pays for the pizza, all because they genuinely believe victory is imminent.
Yet, until that defining moment, no one knows for sure. Even when all appears lost, the fans of the trailing team never give up hope, praying for a miracle, often ‘til the very end. Victory: it’s what we were created for. Still, every year, many discover they put their faith in the wrong side.
One day each of us will face another defining moment, one concerning the most decisive battle of all—the battle for our eternal soul—and in that moment, the moment we enter eternity, we will discover whether or not we chose the winning side. Yet unlike the Super Bowl, we don’t know the day or the hour that moment will come. We have to choose now.
So which is the winning side? It’s what you see written on the banners waving among the fans at every football game as far back as anyone can remember, “John 3:16” which is God’s promise: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
And yet when we look back at Jesus’ final moments, all appeared lost as He hung dying on the cross; many of His fans deserted Him, gave up hope, never expecting a miracle. But that’s precisely what happened. Jesus was raised from the dead and in that moment, He defeated our final enemy, death itself: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death…Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15: 26, 54ESV, selected)
Don’t wait until your defining moment to know the outcome of your eternity. You can choose today to embrace the winner; choose Jesus, choose victory. It’s what you were created for! “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:57 ESV). Whose side are you on?
Pastor Randy will be away February 20-26. If you need pastoral care during that time contact Pastor Rob at
717-341-9436 or the church office at 717-866-6839.
SUPER BOWL BREAKFAST — Sunday, February 3rd
Join us in the fellowship hall during the Sunday school hour (10:05-10:55) for a breakfast of casserole, sausage, fruit, and drink. Sign up at the information desk. Don’t forget to bring in cans of soup and boxes of saltines to be given to the food banks at Lebanon County Christian Ministries and Myerstown Church of the Brethren. You can put them on the table in the back hallway of the church.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN'S NOTES:
A new year is here, and we have planned programs for our U.M.W. unit. All women in the church are welcome to participate on our meetings and activities. It is a chance to learn about issues that interest women today and a time to fellowship with other women in our church.
As many of our regulars are getting older and prefer to not go out at night, we’ve been trying time during the day for our meetings. So be sure to note the time and day for each one.
On Wednesday, February 6th at 2:00 PM, our unit will have its "call to Prayer and Self Denial" program led by Sandy Sandoe. There will be a time of fellowship and a business meeting too.
Future plans that are coming are the Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, April 6that 9:00. Also, we are working on a tour of Jubilee Ministries in April, a special speaker in May, and our annual picnic on June 4th. Watch the newsletter and bulletins for details.
We hope to have many women at our meetings and activities this year. We are open to suggestions or ideas from others.
Louise Gettle, President — Zion United Methodist Women
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Born On Third Base
By Chuck Collins
With the heart of an agitator and the soul of a storyteller, inequality expert Chuck Collins upends our assumptions about America’s deep wealth divide – one that, for the first time in recent history, locks the nation’s youth into a future defined by their class a wealth at birth. It also limits our ability to address crises like climate change and creates a world that no one, not even the rich, will ultimately want to live in. In this book, Collins calls for an end to class war, busts the myths that define our views of rich and poor, and offers bold new solutions for bridging the economic divide and re-engaging the wealthy in rebuilding communications for a resilient future.
LENTEN LUNCHTIME BIBLE STUDY 2019
Led by Rev. John Nesbitt
Tuesdays at 12 Noon
March 12 — First Corinthians 1:1-9
March 19 — First Corinthians 1: 10-17
March 26 — First Corinthians 1: 18-31
April 2 — First Corinthians 5:8
April 9 — First Corinthians 12
We will meet at noon in Fellowship Hall on Tuesdays during Lent. Each session stands on its own, so "come and go" as you are able. Contact Pastor Nesbitt at 717-866-9787 if you have any questions. Come and Enjoy: Study, Fellowship, Sharing, Caring and some Fun! Bring your Bible and a bag lunch. Beverage provided! Please read over the passage prior to our one-hour study.