February 28, 2016 – Lent III

Lent 3 February 28, 2016        Psalm 63, Luke 13:1-9, 10-17; Isaiah 55:1-9 ****************************************************************** Even gentle Jesus isn’t sounding so gentle today – telling us in our first reading we all deserve to perish – and will perish, unless we repent. If we were hoping for extra sympathy from Jesus for our fellow citizens who have perished at the hands of wicked governor Herod – sorry – but Jesus isn’t going there today. He isn’t going to feed even righteous anger. In fact, Jesus says, this kind of disaster will happen to everyone, everywhere – unless we make repentance… I hope he’s speaking metaphorically… But I notice he’s making reference to real life events… Jesus is preaching on the universal nature of sin and judgement. Biblical facts-of-life from the get-to. Jesus re-narrates a biblical theme that runs from Genesis through Revelation. All have sinned. All have fallen short of God’s justice, God’s peace, God’s grace, God’s love…All fall short of living the fullness of the life God intends… Notice sin is not described by Jesus as a check-list of bad things we’ve done – nearly so much as the power of cosmic evil that keeps us captive. Keeps us from living lives fully given to God. Sin is anything that breaks or damages our relationship with God and neighbor. So gossip, coveting, envy, judgementalism and such can kill us just as surely as murder or adultery. And even God’s forgiven people need to keep repenting from the power of sin…Which, like addiction, is not something we can ever overcome in our own strength….And God’s people, when we repent become sinners in recovery – yet still also sinners in need of forgiveness…Till fullness of God’s kingdom come… And, still in our first reading, Jesus tells a parable, next, of a vineyard owner who has a fig tree that won’t bear fruit. “Cut it down! Why should it keep wasting soil,” the vineyard owner says. Grape vines and fig trees were often planted close together, and both are biblical symbols for Israel. Fig trees can suck up nutrients nearby grape vines could be using. The vineyard owner has a point. But the gardener says, “Leave it standing one more year. Let me dig in manure all around. If it bears fruit, good. If not, you can cut it down.” It’s often assumed the vineyard owner represents God, and the gardener represents Jesus, pleading for a little more time for this fig tree that hasn’t given a fig – this non-producing asset in the vineyard of the Lord. It’s often assumed the fig tree represents Israel, the church, or both. And something like this seems implied in the gospel’s word today…Which can be hard to hear as good news. Yet… Here we are, in the middle of Lent, listening also to God speaking through the prophet Isaiah… about delighting in a feast of rich foods. And here I thought – Lent’s supposed to be a season for fasting and repentance… So what’s with God saying “come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money, without price…Eat what is good! Delight yourselves in rich food!” And – what’s not to like about this kind of repentance? Why is it then – we also hear God asking, in this same reading – “Why...

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Week of February 28, 2016 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Caryn White and Donna Mark will host coffee hour next Sunday, March 6th. The Psalms Reading Group meets each Sunday at 12:30pm at Bourne UMC. Bible study meets each Thursday, at 1 pm, at Bourne UMC in the Perry room. Finance Committee and Church Council will meet on Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:30 and 7:00 pm. Easter Choir: Calling on all voices to sing the Easter anthem on Easter Sunday! No strings attached! You don’t have to make a long-term commitment. Just give Kari Fietek your email, attend at least two rehearsals (either Wednesday evenings or Sunday mornings, times TBA by email) and practice at home with recordings. Our Easter anthem is “Glory to God!” from the Handel Oratorio “Susanna” – sung at both churches. It will be glorious!   OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS The Flower Chart and the Coffee Host/Liturgist Chart are  posted in Handy Hall. Please sign up. Bourne Food Pantry. Please remember to bring in your food items. They are much needed this time of the...

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Week of February 28, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Feb. 28th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Psalms Discussion Group 2:00 PM Girl Scouts (to 3:15pm) Monday, Feb. 29th: 7:00 PM Church Council 7:00 PM Saints & Singers Chorus Wednesday, March 1st: 10:00 AM Bourne Women’s Club Thursday, March 3rd: 1:00 PM Bible Study @ Bourne UMC Friday, March 4th: 1:00 PM World Day of Prayer Service Sunday, March 6th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Psalms Discussion Group Monday, March 7th: 1:00 PM UMW Meeting THE MARCH NEWSLETTER is available. Please pick up your copy on the way out this morning if you receive the print version, or check your email if you receive the e-version. THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER SERVICE is this coming Friday, March 4th, at 1:00pm, here at Bourne UMC. Easter Choir: Calling on all voices to sing the Easter anthem on Easter Sunday! No strings attached! You don’t have to make a long term commitment. Just give Kari Fietek your email, attend at least two rehearsals (either Wednesday evenings or Sunday mornings, times TBA by email) and practice at home with recordings. Our Easter anthem is “Glory to God!” from the Handel Oratorio: Susanna – sung at both churches. It will be glorious! Children will be offered a chance to practice ringing bells during church after children’s time every week commencing today, Sunday, February 21. We are ringing for the hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” for Easter. BIBLE STUDY is meeting again on Thursdays at 1pm at Bourne UMC and the Psalms Discussion Group is meeting again on Sundays at 12:30pm in the Perry Room. Please feel free to join us! Saints & Singers Chorus Concert: Our cantata for this Easter, called “Jesus Changed Everything”, arranged by Mark Brymer, illuminates the message that the sacrifice of Jesus has changed … everything! Join us Sunday, March 13th here at Bourne UMC at 3:00 pm  ...

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