December 2016

December 2016

A fiery, bright, celestial object, the natal star, blazed in the night sky over Bethlehem.

All around the sleepy village was the still deep, blue of a winter’s night.  This beautiful star serves as a metaphor for the promised Messiah.  As it’s radiant light pierced the darkness of that night, so Jesus, the Light of the World pierces the darkness of bethlehemhuman souls, as we are awakened by His Holy Spirit.

The proclamation of the Gospel begins with the prophets of old, such as Isaiah, who foretold the story of Messiah’s birth 700 years before the blessed event.

Hear Isaiah’s passionate words from chapter seven …

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays.  Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.”  The season proclaims the first and second comings of the Christ, Whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, Immanuel (God with us) comes continually in Word and Spirit, and His return in final victory we anticipate.

It was John the Baptist, a cousin to Jesus, who 700 years later, proclaimed the words of Isaiah from chapter 40:

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.  3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

Today, the clarion call reaches our ears in the same way;

“…prepare the way for the LORD.”

Can you hear heaven calling out to you, with the blessed news?

3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

This year, as we prepare to celebrate birth of our Glorious King, do not let the Spirit of Christ be passed along to more receptive hearts.  Instead, let God’s Holy Spirit fill you anew, with the wonder and radiance of the true meaning of Christmas:  the Spirit of Christ living in us.

Blessed Christmas,

Pastor Michael

Harvest Season

harvest-photo-4

Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV)

The Workers Are Few

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and make disciples.

This time of year, when farmers are gathering their harvest before winter, we are reminded of the harvest of souls.  Many people, today, are living without the Hope which comes from knowing Jesus.

Our sincere prayer is that you would come to know Him!

As the people of Otterbein United Methodist Church, we are not perfect, but we are forgiven by our Loving Savior.  God’s Grace makes it possible for us to live our lives for Jesus.  We often fail to live exactly how our Lord would have us, and we are far from perfect, but we are so grateful for our salvation, that we want to do everything we can, to share the Good News of Jesus with you!  We would love to have you come and join our fall activities at Otterbein UMC!  If you do, we believe you will be blessed, and we know we will be blessed!

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”