October 9, 2016 – Servants serving servants

Pentecost 21   October 9, 2016   Philippians 2:1-8, Luke 1:46-55, Luke 12:35-38 Servants serving servants ********************************************************** Everything Jesus does is done in the service of God and the people of God… Jesus must have learned a lot about serving from his mother, whose words we’ve heard in our second reading. “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.” Mary starts by appreciating God’s love for her, then goes on to celebrating God’s faithfulness to his servant Israel. Her vocation and her nation’s vocation are two sides of one calling – to love and serve God. At the same time her vocation is unique to her, as each of our vocations is unique to us. Yet her vocation also serves as a model for us, much like our serving can help others learning to serve. The same can be said of Israel’s vocation to serve God as a light for all nations (Isaiah 42 and 49), shedding light for all the nations on how to live (and how not to live) in the presence of God… And probably from the womb, Mary’s son Jesus lives the life of a servant of God. On his last night on earth, he sums up the servant’s life (in the words of our Thought for the Day): “Who is greater, the one who is at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one at table? But I am among you as one who serves.” In our last reading, Jesus calls his followers “servants” and names himself as our master – yet, as he bids us to be like servants, ready for their master’s return, Jesus also promises he himself will act like a waiter, serving those who have been faithful. After his resurrection he shows us what he means, serving disciples breakfast on the beach in the last chapter of John’s gospel, where, earlier, on his last night before his death, Jesus also washes the feet of disciples, telling us we should do the same for each other. In our first reading from Philippians this ‘serve one-another’ theme is applied directly to us, as the apostle Paul tells us ‘let the same mind that was in Christ be now in us’ –  putting others before ourselves, looking to the interests of others before our own interests. Here’s one of those places where I pause and confess my own sometimes ambivalent feelings about our theme today of serving God and the church. (In our membership vows and each time we welcome a new member, we pledge to serve God and one another through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, now our service.) And these words from Philippians summarize both the extreme beauty and the difficulty of what we are promising to do. On the one hand, this passage of Philippians is among the most beautiful ever written. Bible scholars identify this as a fragment of one of the oldest hymns to Christ. (We’ve sung a version as our opening hymn.) On the other hand, for me, there’s something in the way St Paul lays it out so very directly – saying we should all have the same mind as Jesus Christ, who took on the...

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Week of October 9, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Oct. 9th: 11:00 AM Worship Service Monday, Oct. 10th: 6:00 PM Worship Committee Meeting Wednesday, Oct. 12th: 6:00 PM Aptuxcet Garden Club Thursday, Oct. 13th: 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Saturday, Oct. 15th: 11:00 AM UMW Luncheon and Bake Sale Sunday, Oct. 16th: 11:00 AM Worship Service Stewardship Luncheon Monday, Oct. 17th: 6:00 PM Finance Committee 7:00 PM Church Council UMW LUNCHEON AND BAKE SALE: This Saturday, October 15th, from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Join us for chowder/soup, sandwiches, chips, drinks and dessert, all for $8. We will also be selling homemade baked goods. Bring a friend and see you there! BACKPACK UPDATE: 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. THE PUMPKIN PATCH SIGN-UP is in Crain Hall. Workers are needed to cover shifts. Please sign up to help with this important outreach project! CHILDREN’S CLOTHING EXCHANGE: We are now accepting gently used warm winter children’s clothes, sizes 0-14, for our Free Children’s Clothing Exchange  opening in November, 2016. Clothes may be dropped off at the Thrift Shop or dropped off in the church hall Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings.  The Exchange plans to be open the first Saturday of each month from 9:30 am to noon starting November 6th. OUR ANNUAL CHURCH CONFERENCE will be Monday, November 28th at 7:00pm, here at BUMC. Annual reports are due by November 1st. In our membership vows and each time we welcome a new member, we say together these words from our Methodist Hymnal: “As members together with you in the body of Christ and in this congregation of the United Methodist Church, we renew our covenant faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Every Sunday through October 16 we will be focusing on one of these five commitments. May we be in prayer about each vow.    ...

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