January 12, 2014 – Baptism of Christ/Epiphany 2 – Bourne UMC

Chilly and Cold Jordan The River Jordan is chilly and cold, chills the body but not the soul…this traditional song was popular in the 1960’s along with our thought for the day “I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken, I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children, … And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.” This uses Bob Dylan song A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and as we approach this topic I felt its use here was needed for as you know I am a child of the 60’s, so here we go. …Rain upon the earth is a form of God’s baptism. A Granting of His Grace upon us. We listen here for the rain. I lived a long time in the rain, almost ten years with it constantly coming down in my quiet town of Aberdeen, Grays Harbor, Washington state. For years we lived there and the rain came down almost constantly, or so it seemed. Let me take you there now. It was a town of two spirits, or so it seemed to me. There were the Hill people, living in houses build by wealthy lumber barons of a hundred years before… whose homes were still occupied by the rich and the prosperous of that community. I was one of those. I lived on the hill. The main hill. Broadway Hill. My husband worked for Ocean Spray and we had a good stable income. Our town’s unemployment was twenty percent and this was very much felt in the lower part of the town, the Flats. There the migrant, temporary workers lived. Two very, very separate lives. It had long been that way. The Hill people shopped during the day on the flats, only coming down in the daylight. The flats were too unstable for one to go about. Even the land was unstable, marshes and bogs filled in with sawdust and planks. People sleeping under bridges. Families sleeping in cars. I worked for a short time in the downtown area of Aberdeen, in the Campfire office and one night had to walk quickly to escape a gang of young men with baseball bats. This sounds pretty dark, but we often do not see the worse part of our own society here, do we. I must go on but here we learn that Christ was given to us to escape a life filled with the drudgery of the cold world. We all have seen hardship but do we all know what hardship is. Thrift Shop Here at Bourne we are lucky to have a gifted bunch of people who work in our Thrift shop. (Please do offer to help out there if you have some spare time, all hands aboard.) Our helpers there give weekly time and talent to help those in need in our community by offering good clothing and stuffs for very small prices. We all benefit from their careful tending of our planet, so to speak. Our arms reach out a weekly thank you for their time and effort. If you do not see the direction I am going, let me explain here. I see that, we, as a people often feel that our baptism...

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January 12, 2014 – Baptism of Christ/Epiphany 2 – Cataumet UMC

Isaiah 42: 1-9, Acts 10: 34-43, Matthew 3: 13-17 “Bruised Reeds” – January 12, 2014 As always I agonized over my sermon or rather which direction I should go in. Should I use the scripture reading from Isaiah or the reading from Matthew? Reading them both several times it occurred to me, that they work together as a whole. In Matthew, Jesus is baptized, in Isaiah, the newly baptized Jesus is presented with the work or ministry which lies ahead of him. I must confess my reading of Matthew left me confused.Why did Jesus wish to be baptized? Surely he being the son of God must be sinless, what did he have to wash away? He was baptized by John, who was equally puzzled and felt unworthy to baptize the man who would be his savior. What I found was Jesus did not want special treatment, in fact he was baptized with many others. What makes this significant is that Jesus was willing to stand with sinners, and be baptized. I doubt it was lost on Jesus that along with the baptism, he would very shortly become a part of these peoples lives in a way they could not imagine. Jesus even in these earliest days was making humility and respect corner stones of his ministry. Jesus was making another statement with his baptism, “This is important.” Jesus says these words to John, “I need to be baptized by you for it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness.” While ideas about baptism can be different and the urgency to be baptized has been diminished, Jesus wanted us to see how we are joined together by baptism. Whether Protestant or Catholic, with baptism we join in a sea of Christianity, that allows us to share and exchange those beliefs and faith that makes us Christians. As a former Catholic, baptism was a sacrament not to be trifled with. Babies who passed away before being baptized went to limbo, limbo is no longer part of the church doctrine, falling out of favor with current church teachings. What I have for you today is my baptismal certificate. Reading it, makes it clear how important baptism was seen. I was born March 13th and baptized just 13 days later! Mom and Dad I suspect wanted to make sure my spiritual underpinnings were secure. Baptism is one of those singular events in our lives that joins us with our fellow Christians. We may take a different spiritual path from our family, neighbors and friends, but we will always share the water poured over our foreheads, as we became part of the family of Christ. Perhaps baptism is a ticket with no specific route, only a destination, a ticket with no expiration date, the fine print says only, to be used in time of joy, hardship, or sorrow. The ticket could be purchased wherever there is water and the love of God. The price is found in the eyes and love of our parents and all those who contribute to our spiral life. Baptism, first sends us on our own spiritual journey, but ultimately joins us with all our fellow pilgrims. What we have in Isaiah is a job description, it is Jesus’ job description. The trajectory of the life that will be...

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Announcements Week of January 12, 2014 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Jan 12th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Monday, Jan 13th:  11:00 AM Aptuxcet Garden Club 7:00 PM Worship Committee Meeting Tuesday, Jan 14th: 7:00 PM Joint Finance @ Bourne Wednesday, Jan 15th: 7:00 PM Bible Study @ Cataumet UMC Thursday, Jan 16th: 1:00 PM Bible Study @ Bourne UMC Sunday, Jan 19th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Monday, Jan 20th: 6:00 PM Finance Committee 7:00 PM Church Council ALTAR FLOWER DONATIONS: The sign up list for altar flower donations is posted, please sign up! HELP NEEDED! We are looking for a couple of volunteers to learn how to run the Powerpoint presentation on Sundays. Please speak to Tim if you are interested. THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER DEADLINE IS Tuesday, January 28th. Please have any articles, meeting dates, etc, into the office no later than 9:00am that day. Thank you! MAILING LIST: If you are not on our mailing list (email or hard copy) to receive newsletters, and other church news, please fill out a card in Crain Hall. Also, if your address has changed, please let us know!  ...

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