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Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

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Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

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“And now, O glorious and blessed God, father, son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine and I am thine. So be it.”

January 5, 2024
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Daily Scripture

Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 13:13, 1 John 4:7-13

Matthew 28
18 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”

2 Corinthians 13
13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

1 John 4
7 Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. 8 The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him. 10 This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins.
11 Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us. 13 This is how we know we remain in him and he remains in us, because he has given us a measure of his Spirit.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Neither we (nor for that matter John Wesley) invented this “covenant” we renew at the start of 2024. We are renewing and affirming our intention to accept and enter God’s covenant, offered to humans in various ways throughout history. (“Covenant” occurs between 240 and 395 times in the Bible, depending on which English translation you use.) It is the eternal promise of the eternal God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to love, accept, redeem, and connect us, if we will only accept God’s promise.

  • Why didn’t Wesley just leave the prayer at “O glorious and blessed God”? Because that would be an incomplete confession of the Lord we serve. “Naming the Trinity is perhaps naming the biggest mystery of God in Christianity. To evoke the Trinity, then, in the form of prayer might very well be the most profound act a Christian can carry out.” * What do you find most mysterious about our great God? What most draws you and helps you to experience God’s life-changing love?
  • One consequence we may not realize of faith in the Trinity, with all its mysteries, is that serving the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit draws us into an inherently connected, relational faith experience. That was why 1 John 4:8 said, “God IS love,” and therefore “the person who doesn’t love does not know God.” In what ways have you experienced God’s love through the love of other believers? How does that God-given connection go beyond mere human “liking” or “attraction”?
Prayer

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I love you deeply. I want to honor you with my attitude, behaviors, and lifestyle. You are a relational God, and I aim to offer you my love with the way I treat others. Amen.

GPS Insights

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe and his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 and were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew and Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

An “article” on archaeology noted the recent discovery of a transcript from circa 33 A.D:

Good morning!  Thanks for calling Gideon’s Glibful Gurus of Guidance–The ultimate 4G Network, providing marketing services across the Promised Land.  To whom am I speaking?

Oh hey, Peter.  Good to chat with you again. Do you need some assistance with your fishing company? Oh really? You gave up fishing to follow a Rabbi named Jesus. Huh, so I guess you could say you went from Fishing for Cod to Fishing for God. (Chuckling) Oh, right–back to business.

Well, as you know we’ve worked with Godly people before. We were the ones who helped Moses with the branding of the Hebrews new home as the “Land of Milk & Honey.” It’s still legendary in marketing circles. (However, Moses did not appreciate the sticker we stuck on the back of the Ten Commandments that read, “Placed by the Gideons.”)

We also helped Noah hype up his recruitment for the ark by changing the description to a luxury cruise with live entertainment. The carnivores loved when the performer “Meat Loaf” was on stage & the rabbits were crazy about the redheaded comedian “Carrot Top.”

So, what do you need today? You had your final meeting with Jesus & you have been given a big assignment. Peter, Peter…you know the #1 goal of any meeting is to leave without homework. 

Huh. Your goal is to tell others about the good news of Jesus Christ. To go & make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the name of God, & to teach them to obey everything Jesus taught. Wow. All nations? Even Samaria? 

Okay. Man-made borders & divisions can’t limit God’s love. Check. Are you looking at developing a huge social media presence? Oh. Just “word of mouth.” Ah yes, the original “face-book.”

Tell me about your staffing. You have 11 dedicated staff members, formal education is limited, no social status, per se, & limited language skills. Huh. What’s your budget? Oh my. No formal expense budget & no benefit plan, though each staffer will enjoy the Fruit of the Spirit.

I’ve got to admit, Peter, this seems extremely daunting. I know you are impulsive, but you can’t really expect to get your message out with this rag-tag operation & shoestring budget. I’d limit your push to the Galilee area, set quotas of 10 believers/month & then maybe eventually set up a satellite campus in Nazareth. With any luck, in a couple of thousand years you might be able to create a small niche market in Northern Israel.

Oh, that’s not good enough? Jesus is expecting His message of love & hope to be spread around the globe & to transform the world for thousands of years? Um. How can you possibly be expected to accomplish this on your own?

I see. Jesus hasn’t just given you a command. He’s also made a promise to you. He’ll be with you every step of the way. You’ll be able to go to God with prayers of thanksgiving & awe, you’ll be able to go to Jesus for pleas of grace & compassion, & you’ll be able to go to the Holy Spirit for inspiration, comfort, & counsel. Huh. You know, this might actually work. One thing I’ve learned through the years is that you never bet against God.

Well, good luck & best wishes Peter. We’ll know in a few years whether you guys were successful. Say, Peter, if you are going to be an influencer, you should go by Jesus’ nickname for you, “Peter the Rock,” instead of just “Peter.” It’d give you lots of juice in the marketplace & project a persona of strength & power–I mean unless someone attacks you with paper. (Chuckling.) Hello? Huh. I guess he’s not a fan of the “Rock-Paper-Scissors” game.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Folmsbee, Chris, The Wesley Prayer Challenge Participant Book (p. 112). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition. See also Hamilton, Adam, Creed (Creed series) (pp. 89-98). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.