Friday from First!
June 5, 2020
See Jesus. Show Jesus. Share Jesus.
It's a math problem no one has ever been able to solve: How can 1+1+1=1? Theologians have a hard time trying to explain the Trinity without falling into one of the traps named in this amusing video. And you won't find the word 'trinity' anywhere in the Bible. Only once does Jesus refer to "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" - and that's after the resurrection, as he prepares to ascend into heaven.
Yet, the doctrine of the Trinity, God in Three Persons, is basic to Christian faith. Join us for worship on Facebook or Youtube at 9:30 AM this Sunday, as we explore this mystery. Start a "watch party" with your Facebook friends! Then hop over to the Zoom Coffee Time after worship, as we connect with one another through the mystery of technology.
Even after in-person worship and meetings return, there will likely be an online option to participate, and we want to be sure technology is not a barrier for anyone. If you or someone you know from our congregation does not have internet access and would like to participate in our church's online events (especially those we hold on Zoom, where you can see and talk to several folks at one time), would you please let the church office know? We are looking at ways we can get everyone connected to the life of this congregation. Call the church office if you'd like to know more.
A final word... Black Lives Matter
On Memorial Day, George Floyd died as 19-year police veteran Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Three other officers stood and watched while Floyd pleaded with them and told them him he couldn't breathe. All four officers were fired, and now face charges in Floyd's death. Demonstrations, riots, and looting have erupted in cities across the country in response to Floyd's death. You may have noticed a few peaceful protesters standing at the corner of Center and Broadway, right here in New Ulm.
Perhaps you've also seen the Church show up, bringing food and supplies to neighborhoods where access to these things is difficult right now. Maybe you've seen hundreds of clergy marching through Minneapolis and St. Paul in silent protest of racial injustice, white clergy "having the backs" of the black clergy who led them. Maybe you think "that's the Cities, but this is New Ulm." Maybe you've said, "all lives matter." Maybe you've heard someone reply, "Yes, but when one house is burning down, you throw water on that house."
And what does Jesus say?
Our purpose, our mission, remember, is to see Jesus, show Jesus, and share Jesus. To put it another way, we engage with God, each other, and the world, in order to offer Christ.
The first place we can engage with God and see Jesus is through scripture. UMC Pastor Josh Meyers offers some thoughts on being Christ's body with one another, and this is a good place to begin. He writes:
Christians in Minnesota, now is your time:
Grieve George Floyd with one another (Galatians 6:2) Love one another (John 13:34) Accept one another (end racism) (Romans 15:7) Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18) Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians) Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25) Serve one another (Galatians 5:13) Look to the interests of one another (Philippians 2:4) Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13) Pray for one another (James 5:16) Be patient with one another (Ephesians 4:2) Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15, 25) Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32) Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10) Honor one another (Romans 12:10) Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16) Build up one another (Romans 14:19) Be likeminded towards one another (Romans 15:5) Admonish one another (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16) Greet one another (Romans 16:16) Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:2, 32; Colossians 3:13) Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19) Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5) Teach one another (Colossians 3:16) Stir up [provoke, stimulate] one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24) Show hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9) Employ the gifts that God has given us for the benefit of one another (1 Peter 4:10) Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another (1 Peter 5:5)
Let me emphasize that this "one another" includes people of every color, social class, economic status, and education level. This "one another" includes people who have committed crimes, and people who uphold the law. This "one another" includes people who think and act like we do, and others who do not. This "one another" includes people we love and trust, and people we don't like or trust.
Now go back and read that list of "one anothers" again. Notice that there is only one reference from a gospel, only one quote from Jesus himself. It sums up the whole list.
"Love one another." Let's do that so well, the world takes notice. Because right now, a house is burning, and black lives matter to Jesus. May they also matter to you.
I'm praying for you, Church. Pastor Jo Anne