December 13, 2015 – A Message from Kathy Parsons, BUMC

Advent 3, December 13, 2015   Psalm 85, Isaiah 12:2-6, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 1:39-56 ********************************* My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices! So sings Mary. Today in Luke’s gospel, we hear the first joyous Christmas carol, and on this third Sunday of Advent, we light the pink candle, the candle of joy. Throughout Luke’s gospel the messages of inclusion, expectation and blessing are woven. Luke, a Gentile bridging the Jewish and early Christian cultures in the first century, stresses the universal scope of God’s work. He traces Jesus’ genealogy back beyond Abraham to Adam—the father of all humanity. Luke wrote passionately about God’s plan of salvation for all God’s children through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God—God’s presence and power, active and effective among the people; the source of life and blessing. People are empowered by the Holy Spirit and their lives are transformed to know and act upon this blessing. This is the good news message from Luke’s gospel. And so the blessedness of faith—shown so powerfully in Mary’s song—is a blessing for all. The Holy Spirit speaks to us all. When I was a youngster, 10 or so, I had a first-time experience of what I have come to know as the Holy Spirit grabbing my soul by the shoulders and giving me a shake. A wake-up, look-at-me moment—a whole-body experience. I was outside, happened to gaze up at the blue sky overhead and was transfixed—the sky, the puffy clouds were in motion—not flitting across the sky but rocking in and out of focus—it was as if I were wearing three-d glasses and continually adjusting them. And the height of the sky was vast. It seems funny to say that because of course the sky seems vast and high to some degree. But the sky is so familiar; you feel the familiar blueness or grayness as a comforting blanket almost, day after day. On this day and at times since, the sky seemed planets away from earth—vaulted to an impossible height. Seeing the blue and white, vaulted mirage is one thing, but what is equally memorable is the exhilaration that instantaneously came over me as I gazed over head. Happiness, infinite possibility, joy—poof—these feelings overcame me with a gripping intensity. In the many years since then, these wonderful moments have returned more frequently in some years, less so during other seasons of my life. Sometimes when I am out of doors, but many times literally out of the blue—sudden feelings of blessedness, moments of intense almost wrenching gratitude, and sometimes of profound world grief. This is what I experience and it is mysterious, but I am sure that these spiritual moments come to me as surprise visits from the Holy Spirit. There is strength and connectedness that can come only from God. The theologian Marcus Borg says that the heart–a metaphor for the self at its deepest level– can be turned toward God or away from God, open to God or closed to God. He writes that the typical condition, the human condition, is for our hearts to be turned away from God, to be closed. The Bible urges us: “Return to the Lord with all your heart” from 1st Samuel “Create in me a clean heart” says the psalmist And...

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Week of December 13, 2015- Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Dec. 13th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Wrap & Tag Party 3:00 PM Saints and Singers Concert Monday, Dec. 14th: 10:30 AM Aptuxcet Garden Club 6:00 PM Worship Committee 7:00 PM Church Council Thursday, Dec. 17th:    1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Sunday, Dec. 20th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Family to Family Project: We will wrap and tag gifts after church today for distribution to the school later in the week. Please stay and help! THE SAINTS AND SINGERS CHORUS CONCERT is today at 3:00pm, here at Bourne UMC. Free admission. CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES: (Thursday, December 24th) 4:00pm Family Service – ABC’s of Christmas (Bourne UMC) 7:00pm Lessons and Carols (Cataumet UMC) 9:00pm Lessons and Carols ( Bourne UMC) THE 2016 ALTAR FLOWER CHART has been posted. Please sign up! PHOTOS NEEDED: Do you have any photos of recent church events? (Cookie Walk, Caroling, UMW Potluck, Thanksgiving Dinner, etc.) We’d love to have them! Please submit photos on a CD or email them to the church office. We like to have up-to-date photos on our website and Facebook page. Thank you!  ...

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