Sunday, January 18, 2015 * Worship @ 10:30 * Bible Study @ 9:15
Sermon: Dreams & Temptations
Sacred Text: Matthew 4:1-17
Wisdom Words: “I Have a Dream” speech
Our sacred text this week comes from the gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 4:1-17 is the story of Jesus being tempted prior to the start of his ministry. Traditionally we have thought of the tempter as an evil character or even Satan but that is not quite correct.
According to Richard Swanson, “The Greek word is not quite so devilish: it refers physically to the act of throwing something across someone’s path, and is well-translated as “slanderer.” Such a character is no ally, but neither is a slanderer necessarily a cosmic force of evil.”
You can read the scripture in the Common English Bible or in your favorite translation.
I will be pairing the scripture with a wisdom text in the coming weeks. The wisdom text for this week is an excerpt from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. You can read it at the National Archives by clicking here or watch a video from Salt Project.
See you Sunday!
The Condon United Church of Christ announced special music, weekly worship, Bible Study, and special services for Advent, the start of the Christian calendar and the season of preparation leading to Christmas. The focus of services and studies will be “Searching”, according to Rev. Tim Graves, pastor of the United Church of Christ.
“All of us are on our own spiritual journeys with the Divine One,” explained Rev. Graves. “Our theme of Searching reflects this truth about human existence during this season of preparation for Christmas.”
Advent at the UCC begins Sunday, November 30 with a Hanging of the Greens worship service featuring special music by local artist and musician Dan Robinson. Scripture readings, Advent and Christmas hymns, prayer, and multimedia are interspersed with decorating the sanctuary.
“At the start of a Hanging of the Greens service, the sanctuary is bare. By the end of the service it is decked out in seasonal decorations and liturgical colors,” said Rev. Graves.
Each Sunday morning, as is the practice at the local UCC, begins with Bible study at 9:15 and worship at 10:30. The traditional themes of hope, peace, joy, and love will be incorporated into the searching theme on each of the four Sundays leading to Christmas.
The second Sunday of Advent, December 6, will feature special music by Russell Thompson, grandson of Patti and Dale Thompson.
A Longest Night service will be Sunday evening December 21 at 5:00 p.m. Sometimes called Blue Christmas, many Christian churches now recognize the sadness inherent in the Christmas season for many people.
“The service affirms that not everyone is as happy as our culture tells us we should be at this time of the year,” says Rev. Graves. “The holidays, especially Christmas, are often times when people feel the loss of loved ones, hopes, and dreams. Those searching for work or living in poverty often feel the pressures of spending money they do not have. Even those who appear to have it all, often struggle with depression or blue feelings as the long nights of winter press on.”
The traditional candlelight Christmas Eve service will be at 8:00 p.m. on December 24.
When faced with the impossible, how can we respond? The text for the second Sunday of Advent is Luke 1:46-56 and Matthew 1:18-25. (You can read them here.) Join us at 10:30 on Sunday, December 8th for spiritual worship that doesn’t require anyone to check their brain at the door.