January 29, 2017 – Blessed are

Epiphany 4   January 29, 2017 ( Ps 15, Exodus 19:3-6, 17-20, Isaiah 2:1-5) Matthew 5:1-12          Blessed are ************************************************** “Blessed are….” Even just the words ‘blessed are’ sound like a blessing. And who would not like to receive a blessing? Yet, somehow, a lot of what we hear and see does not seem designed or intended to be a blessing… I had a friend in seminary whose telephone answering machine greeting said, “If you have called to be a blessing, you may leave a message at the sound of the beep…” She didn’t exactly say do not leave a message if you are not calling to be a blessing… But you would get that message… If you were listening… If everyone was always calling to be a blessing – trying to be a blessing – what a blessing that would be! Though the question then becomes, I suppose – what do we mean by a blessing? Many seem to have their own definitions of what a blessing is. Jesus says Blessed are nine times today. And I’ve been pondering what it might be like if every time we prayed to Jesus we first got his answering machine with a message like my friend’s message – “Hi, this is Jesus. If you are calling to receive a blessing, or to be a blessing – stay on the line, I’ll be with you momentarily. Please listen first to hear what I mean by blessing…” Then we hear: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” …and… “Blessed are those who mourn”… And I imagine some people will be hanging up on Jesus already… Thinking “I don’t think I’m interested in blessings that sound like poverty and weeping…” But for those who stay on the line, and listen, the voice of Jesus continues, saying… “Blessed are the meek… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… Blessed are the merciful… Blessed are the pure in heart… Blessed are the peacemakers”… Now we’re getting into blessings that sound more like blessings – at least the kinds of blessings we usually appreciate seeing in others… Although, thinking about these blessings applied to myself can still be a little like thinking about resolutions to join the gym or clean the garage or the attic… Hungering and thirsting for righteousness and being pure in heart sound great for everyone… And – like really worthwhile goals for me… (To begin pursuing in earnest… maybe next year…or the year after… ) But then we get to: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake”… Not exactly a blessing I’m ever eager for.. And I’m pretty sure its not just me… Persecution, according to the dictionary, is about being subjected to hostility, oppression, abuse, ill-treatment… I can’t recall anyone very eager for this blessing… Or it’s closely-related blessing – “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account…” If we were to call up Jesus and listen to all his list of blessings, I wonder – how many of us are likely to leave our call-back number for Jesus to be getting back to us about being his disciples? How many of us will be able to sing: Count your blessings, count them one by one. Count...

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Week of January 29, 2017 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study on Thursdays, at 1:00pm at Bourne UMC. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS Bourne Food Pantry   Please remember to bring in your food items. They are much needed! Kids Backpack Program   Please leave your items for the kids backpacks in the bin in the office. EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday                        8:00 am                        Choir practice Sunday                        9:00 am                        Worship Sunday                           7:00 pm                        AA Meeting Monday                          7:30 pm                        N/A Meeting Tuesday                         9:00 am                        VNA Exercise Tuesday                         7:00 pm                        AA Meeting Thursday                       9:00 am                        VNA Exercise Thursday                       7:00 pm                         N/A Meeting Friday                            7:30 pm                         Adult Children of Alcoholics Meeting Saturday                       9:00 am                         Osteo...

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Week of January 29, 2017 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Jan. 29th: 11:00 AM Worship Wednesday, Feb. 1st: 10:30 AM Bourne Women’s Club Thursday, Feb 2nd: 9:00 AM Coady Residence Meetings 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Saturday, Feb 4th: 10:00 AM Children’s Clothing Exchange Sunday, Feb 5th: 11:00 AM Worship Souper Sunday Monday, Feb. 6th: 1:00 PM UMW Meeting THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER is available! Please pick up your copy on the way out today if you receive the print version, or check your email if you receive the e-version. There are extras available in Crain Hall as well. SOUPER SUNDAY will be on Sunday, February 5th. Please sign up in Crain Hall if you would like to make soup! CHILDREN’S CLOTHING EXCHANGE: We continue to accept gently used warm winter children’s clothes, sizes 0-14, which may be dropped off at the Thrift Shop or in the church hall. The exchange is open the first Saturday of each month from 10am to 12pm. BACKPACK PROJECT: These items are urgently needed: Cereal-cold, any kind, Oatmeal packets, Jelly, Mayonnaise, Canned tuna, Canned chicken, Canned pasta with meat-raviolis, lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, Hot cocoa and Microwave popcorn. A complete list is available in Crain Hall.  ...

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