November 15, 2015 – Provoke one another to love

Pentecost 25 November 15, 2015 Psalm 113, 1 Samuel 1:4-20, Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 10:11-25   Provoke one another to love ************************************************** Jaime Cardinal Sin, longtime Catholic archbishop of Manila, liked to joke about his name. A ‘cardinal sin’ of course is one of those really bad, deadly sins. And his name really was Cardinal Sin. Christian author Philip Yancey, in his book, Prayer, tells a story that Cardinal Sin also used to tell about himself: A woman kept showing up at his weekly public audience, telling him that she had a message from God for him. ‘I brushed her off several times,’ Cardinal Sin would say… But she kept coming back. Finally the cardinal spoke to her saying: “We Catholics have strict rules governing visions and messages from God. I need to test your authenticity. I want you to go back and ask God about a particular sin I recently confessed in private. If you ask God and he tells you the answer, I’ll know your vision is genuine.” The next week she returned and he quizzed her, a bit nervously, “Well, did you ask God about my sin?” “I did.” “And did God answer?” “Yes.” “Well, what did God answer?” “God said that he couldn’t remember.” I sure hope God can’t remember any of my sins also… And I take great heart in our word from God today about forgiveness – which comes to us originally from the prophet Jeremiah – which we now hear re-mixed and quoted also in Hebrews – (actually for a second time, having been quoted also in chapter 8 of Hebrews). God says “I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds – and I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more.” And in Hebrews Jesus is revealed as the once-and-for-all-fulfillment of the promise of a new covenant. Jesus himself is the law of God – embodied in human flesh; engraved now in our hearts and minds. The new covenant in which God not only forgives our sins, but remembers our sins no more. Mighty good news indeed. (And God knows we need good news… in these times…) Our reading from Hebrews today is one of the strongest, clearest, most affirmative messages in the bible about God forgiving and forgetting… And thanks God, God forgives and forgets all sins – at least when we really turn to Jesus and trust in him. But that hasn’t (I notice) kept me (and some of my friends, family, and acquaintances) from remembering many of my sins (and theirs) over the years. There doesn’t seem to even be a statute of limitations on remembering sins from fifty or more years ago. (I am still not sure I want to attend my 50th high school reunion in two years, if there is one.) Which is not God’s fault. God has forgiven. But it does remind us – even the memory of sin (our own and that of others) can be almost as toxic as sin itself. Like radioactive waste, even forgiven sin can still have a long half-life that makes it dangerous if handled inappropriately… Even when we know we are fully forgiven, we still have much need of grace… And thanks God, we have grace in abundance… Something we’re reminded of...

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Week of November 15, 2015- Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Nov. 15th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Church Celebration Luncheon 12:30 PM Psalms Reading Group Wednesday, Nov. 18th: 10:00 AM Bourne Women’s Club Board 5:00 PM Horizons for Homeless Children Thursday, Nov. 19th:    9:30 AM Staff Meeting Friday. Nov. 20th: Organ Tuning (afternoon) Sunday, Nov. 22nd: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School 12:30 PM Psalms Reading Group Monday, Nov. 23rd:    9:00 AM DCOM OUR CHRISTMAS DECORATING PARTY will take place after worship on Sunday, November 29th, the first Sunday of Advent. Plan to stay and help out! CHARGE CONFERENCE: The Church Charge Conference will be on Monday, November 30th at 6:30pm at Cataumet UMC. Cataumet will be providing desserts and beverages. Please plan to join us! THE DECEMBER NEWSLETTER DEADLINE is Tuesday, December 1st. THE ANNUAL COOKIE WALK is taking place on Friday, December 4th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Bakers will be needed. Please watch for sign-up sheets in Crain Hall as the time nears. On Sunday, December 6TH I am inviting children to perform during the offertory. They could play an instrument or sing something. I will help coach them. And please, it doesn’t have to be perfect or long! Please see Kari Fietek for details. If you love to sing, we’d love to welcome you to join the choir. It’s not necessary to be able to read music. Every voice is beautiful! Contact Kari Fietek. BIBLE STUDY THURSDAYS AT 1 PM, Bourne UMC, Perry room. We are reading and discussing the book of Acts. All welcome.  ...

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