Call to Worship Good Morning New Hope UMC. Today is Sunday, March 29th, in the year 2020, and Spring is here. I pray that everyone is safe and healthy. Over the last three days, the pollen counts have been very high. So, if you are feeling sick, it may just be the air that we are breathing. Just look on your front porch or your back deck, and you can see what is in the air. So please take care. The reading below is our Call to Worship for today. It comes from Sarah Young in her daily devotion book called Jesus Calling I am taking care of you. Trust Me at all times. Trust Me in all circumstances. Trust Me with all your heart. When you are weary, and everything seems to be going wrong, you can still utter these four words: "I trust You, Jesus." By doing so, you release matters into My control, and you fall back into the security of My everlasting arms. Before you arise from your bed in the morning, I have already arranged the events of your day. Every day provides many opportunities for you to learn My ways and grow closer to Me. Signs of My Presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes that really see. Search for Me as for hidden treasure. I will be found by you. Amen
Children’s Message from Valerie The Jesus Tree Hello Church Family, As we continue social distancing, we are continuing with our Lenten lessons and refreshing our memory of important events in Jesus’s life on earth. So far, we have six ornaments on the Jesus tree: The Dove – representing The presentation of Jesus to the Temple Water Vessel – representing Jesus’s first miracle, turning water into wine A Whip – representing The cleansing of the Temple of the money changers Faces of our children – representing Jesus saying, “Let the children come to me.” Last week we added A Sheep representing Jesus searching for lost sheep. The Well - symbolizing the Woman at the well. This week we will add two more ornaments: KEYS Matthew 16:13-20 (NIV) Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah How do you recognize someone? It seems like a simple question doesn’t it? You use your eyes and you see a face that is familiar. You recognize your mom, your dad, brothers, sisters, friends, grandparents, teachers, and many other people as well. Sometimes you can recognize someone without first seeing them. You may hear a voice, smell a special perfume or a person you know may carry the scent of cookies, giving you a clue as to who is nearby. You may have a family member or friend who whistles or sings, my dad used to whistle a lot and I always knew he was near. There are different ways of identifying who someone is. When Jesus was with his disciples, he asked them, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied that some say it is John the Baptist or Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Then He asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Jesus wanted to know who the disciples thought He was. Peter, one of the disciples replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”. Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Then He told him “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” Peter recognized Jesus as God’s Son because of what he felt in his heart. God’s love gives us the ability to recognize love in others. It is not something we see or hear or smell; it is something we feel inside. The ability to recognize Jesus as the Son of the living God is a gift from God. Peter uses the word Messiah, a word that means someone who is expected, someone who comes to fulfill a promise, to bring God’s love to each one of us. We all are given the ability to recognize Jesus as the Son of God and receive his love. The next ornament for the tree is The KEYS representing the Keys to the kingdom of Heaven. BAG OF LOVE Luke 16:19-31 The Rich Man and Lazarus When we think about someone being rich, we usually think of a person who has a lot of money. But there are many ways to be rich. Think about someone you know who is able to play the piano or other musical instrument well. That person is rich in talent. We have many in our congregation who are rich in talent. I know someone who is a “high-tech” guy. He is able to answer questions and solve computer problems. He is rich in his knowledge of electronic things as are some in our church too. There are people who are especially friendly and loving. They are rich in friendships. We all are rich in friendships. People who excel at sports are rich in their physical strength and endurance and there are a few rich in sports here as well. Each one of you is rich in one way or another. If you are healthy, blessed with good families, have a church to worship in, a school to attend, and the beautiful outdoors to enjoy, you are rich indeed. Jesus teaches us that those who are rich have an obligation to help those who are in need. The story Jesus tells in the Bible is about a rich man “and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day” (16:19). The rich man had much food, yet he did not share what he had with a poor man who laid on the ground outside his gate, much like the homeless we see in our communities. Think about how you are rich. If you are rich with musical talent be willing to share your talent with others who need to hear your music – the elderly who live in nursing homes and small children who can be inspired by you. If you are rich with computer knowledge be willing to teach those who want to learn how to use a computer. If you know how to be a friend reach out to others with your friendship. If you are an athletic person help those who are not as strong as you. We are all rich and each one of us can find ways to share our richness with others. We add a Bag to our tree today, but remember that it is not full of money, but full of love to give to others.
A NOTE FROM ME It does me so good to continue the messages each week in absence from our beloved New Hope. I hope it brings you closer to God during this season of Lent as is the intention of these special messages. Please continue to pray for this world to heal the sick and rid us of illness. Stay safe and know that we will all be back at New Hope again soon. Much Love and prayers to all, Valerie Today's Scripture Reading:
Our Lectionary today, our Scripture reading comes from Matthew 11:28-30 Please read this with a thankful heart.
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Message from Pastor Joe Today’s Scripture reading from Matthew happens to be one of my most loved ones. When I was about twelve years old, I attended Confirmation Class (Catechism Classes) at Hope Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. When we finished the classes, there was a service where we were Confirmed. Then we could become members of that church. During the ceremony, the Pastor gave each of us a personal Scripture reading that he believed fit each of us. Yes, this was my Scripture reading.
Over my lifetime, I have turned to the words from Matthew, and they always gave my comfort. Whenever I was weary, whenever I was lost, whenever I could not see which path to take, I would turn to this verse. Whenever my burdens were too heavy to carry, I don’t just mean physical but emotional as well. Whenever the decisions that I made turned out to be the wrong decisions, I would turn to this verse. Whenever I thought that I was in control and then I found out that I was wrong, I would turn to this verse.
What verse gives you that same comfort that I found in Matthew’s words. Please send me your Scripture verse that touches your heart. What verse make your heart warm with the love of Jesus. I would like to share them with our Church Family as we in this uncertain time. By sharing our most inner connection with Jesus, we can stay connected with each other, as a Church Family. Also, remember to send me all your prayer concerns.
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, and yes, we as a church will be joining together with the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Our service will be posted on Facebook and our website. Prepare to join us in this Holy Sacrament. You can use many different things for the elements. It could be a small piece of bread, a cracker, or even a donut. You can use a cup of juice, or coffee, or even milk. Also, if you wish, it could just be a quiet time mediation. This is an important way to stay connected as a church family by sharing our trust and beliefs in Jesus. Holy week is one of the most important times within the church. You will be receiving many emails and posting about our services. As an example, Our Good Friday service with our seven sister churches will be online on Friday. I will be sending information on Wednesday on where you will be able to join us and view for the service. We are all going through tough times, and our burdens may be heavy, and we are certainly weary and, some of us are just worn out. Just remember that you will find rest in Jesus. When we turn to Jesus, we will find a gentle and humble heart where you, and your soul will find rest. He Yoke is easy and his burden is light. Let it be so, Amen.
PRAY CONCERNS Please keep the following people in your prayers. Pastor Joe - Jessica Taylor, she is very sick. If you have any updates, please forward the info to me. From Valerie - Ellie Zealy, her granddaughter, John, and Janie Maddox, Baby AJ From Dee- a childhood friend whose husband is in the hospital. From Pastor Joe - Jessica Taylor- Please keep Cheryl Ellis, Donna Jean, and Billy Baxter along with the Norah family. From Michael – a friend & Neighbor, Betty Hunter. She is in Kennestone Hospital. From Michele – her Mom & Dad at home doing well. A friend and his wife, who has a co-worker who tested positive. His wife is showing symptoms. From Pastor Joe - The Doctors, Nurses, hospital staff that are on the front lines of the war. Please keep all the loving members of New Hope in your prayers.
Personal Note: As we know, we cannot meet at our beautiful Church for some weeks to come. Even though we cannot meet at our Church, unfortunately, we still have bills to pay. Please send your Tithe, Offerings, Gifts to the address below. This way, the church will be ready for our return. When that day comes, we will all celebrate with Hymns of Joy and also with warm and thankful hearts. Thank you. Payable to New Hope UMC Send then to – Ms. Karen Rich 2771 Princeton Lane Marietta, Ga 30062
Benediction May the Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. In the Name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit, Amen