January 8, 2017 – Baptism of the Lord

Baptism of the Lord   January 8, 2016   Psalm 29, Isaiah 42:1-9, Matthew 3:1-12, 13-17      To fulfill all righteousness ******************************************************* John the Baptist protests mightily when Jesus comes to him to be baptized, saying, “I need to be  baptized by you – what can you be thinking of, coming to me?” John somehow understands – Jesus is the one he’s been expecting. The one who comes after him, whose dirty sandals he, John, is not worthy to carry. The one who baptizes, not with water, as John does, but with the Holy Spirit and fire. We call this day Baptism of the Lord Sunday – but – the more time I spend here at the water’s edge, the more I believe… Baptism isn’t the main thing at all – even for John, the Baptizer. Baptism is important for John and for Jesus, to be sure – but only as a sign that we who are baptized are serious about hearing the main message – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Repentance is an ancient and very familiar message in John’s time, one all the prophets of Israel have preached… Repentance, meaning turning and re-turning to God – till we are living entirely in harmony with God’s word – doing God’s commandments – living by God’s teaching… An old and familiar message for Israel…. Except that it’s been a long time since a full-fledged indisputably prophetic prophet’s been on the scene preaching this message with power and conviction. Malachi, the last prophet in the bible before the New Testament, came more than 400 years before Christ and John the Baptist. It’s been quite awhile since anyone preached like John. And most all the prophets warned, like John, of dire judgement on those who fail to repent. But few if any put so much emphasis on the nearness of God’s kingdom as John does. None name the kingdom of God as close at hand, the way John does. Other prophets say “in days to come,” or “on the day of the Lord it shall be…” Only John says “the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.” A message we’ll soon hear Jesus preaching – in exactly these same words – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near…” *** John the Baptist, of course, is a major figure in the New Testament. He or his followers are mentioned at least seven times in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus says no greater man of God has walked the earth then John. (Though he also says the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. Something to ponder at length, but…)There’s no evading John’s importance in the gospels. Especially since John and Jesus start out together here in the waters of the Jordan River – John laying hands on Jesus in the waters – John and Jesus so very close together, bodily and in their common message at first… that we surely expect they’ll be together all the way, in long-term partnership… Yet a little further on in the story, John seems to be not-so-very-sure of who Jesus is… As we read on into Matthew chapter 11, we find John, now in prison, having second thoughts about Jesus. John, in jail for delivering a prophetic warning to King Herod, sends...

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Week of January 8, 2017 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study on Thursdays, at 1:00pm at Bourne UMC. RISEM Resource Day on January 21st from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Osterville UMC, Osterville.  Subject is: Mission and Ministry for Baby Boomers and Seniors in the 21st Century. Please let Tim know if you would like to participate. 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 8, 2017 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Jan. 8th: 11:00 AM Worship 3:00 PM Girl Scouts Monday, Jan. 9th: 10:30 AM Aptuxcet Garden Club 7:00 PM Worship Committee Meeting Thursday, Jan. 12th: 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Sunday, Jan. 15th: 11:00 AM Worship Monday, Jan. 16th: 6:00 PM Finance Committee 7:00 PM Church Council 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 9:30am 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. THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER DEADLINE is Tuesday, January 24th. Please have any articles, dates or information you would like to be included into the church office by 9am that morning. Thank you!  ...

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