Dear Heavenly Father,
On this day of remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day.
Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.
We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray for your peace, provision, hope, and strength to fill their lives.
May the members of our armed forces be supplied with the courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.
Sovereign God and Lord of all nations, may we take time to reflect on the great blessings we share as a nation and as a people. Our blessings have come at a high cost to others. May we remember these sacrifices always with deep gratitude.
We ask that you would grant wisdom to the leaders of our armed forces. Guide and direct them in their decisions. May they be led by your will and your heart as they pursue our nation’s freedom. We continue to pray for peace in our world. Lord, let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Celebrate Memorial Day – May 30 – Fly Your U.S.A. Flag!
Who Is God the Son? (Part Two)
A Wesleyan Faith
This is the heart of the Incarnation: in Jesus Christ, God took on the life of a human being. How can this be? Didn’t Jesus pray to God? Didn’t Jesus say things about his Father in heaven? How is it that Jesus could be God if God was also in heaven, receiving Jesus’ prayers? The key to these questions is remembering that the Christian God is three-personal. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the son became flesh in Jesus Christ, and while God the Father and the Holy Spirit were present with the Son, it was nonetheless through the Son that God took on humanity. When Jesus prayed, he prayed to God the Father. God’s heavenly and spiritual reign continued while God the Son was made human in Jesus Christ.
The prologue to the Gospel of John (John 1:1-18) reflects yet another ancient hymn. In this hymn, Jesus is said to have come from God’s Word. For both Jews and Gentiles in the ancient world, the Greek word logos – which we normally translate as “word” – had a wide range of meanings. To sum them up in the context of this hymn, though, when these early Christians talked of God’s “Word,” they meant to refer to God’s will, ordering of the universe, reason, and power. It is through God’s Word that life came into being. Indeed, through God’s Word, everything came into being. Greek-speaking people in the first century would have been familiar with this notion of the “Word” as the creative agent of a divine being, the way we today are familiar with abstract concepts like democracy, capitalism, and evolution. These concepts are just a part of the sea in which we swim, as the “Word” was to the ancient Greek-speaking people. For us living today, it can hard to get our heads around the ancient concept of the Word because it is not a part of our common chest of ideas. Nevertheless, it can be helpful to think of God’s Word as God’s self-expression. To put it differently, a sentence that you think in your head is different from a sentence you speak out loud. The sentence spoken out loud is life God’s Word.
John, however, makes an astounding claim, one that did not match up with commonplace thinking about the Word: “the Word became flesh and lived among us.” This was not how most ancient people thought about the Word. For these people, flesh and spirit were opposed to each other. They were like oil and water: you could put them in the same bowl, but they did not mix. The flesh was simply a poor replication of the spirit. God’s Word was Spirit, yet these early Christians said that God’s Word did become flesh. The Word did not put on flesh or simply have the appearance of flesh. The Word became flesh, and when that happened, Jesus Christ came into the world. Jesus is God’s self-expression in the flesh. Christ came into the world to draw us closer to God.
Who Is God the Son? (Part Two) – Page 2 0f 2
Jesus, being fully human, had a real body, and he really did die. Yet death was not the end for Jesus – nor is death the end for those who love and follow Jesus. Jesus was raised from the dead. We call this the “Resurrection.” On the third day after Jesus died, he rose from the dead. The Bible is clear that it was not Jesus’ spirit, or ghost, that rose, but his body. Luke recounts one of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, when he appeared to his disciples. He came to them and said,
“Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
As if to stress the point, Jesus asks them for something to eat. The disciples give Jesus a piece of fish, and he eats it in their presence (Luke 24:36-43). Likewise in John’s Gospel, Jesus appears to his disciples and shows them the marks of the crucifixion in his hands and the mark from a Roman soldier’s spear in his side (20:20). Thomas had the remarkably bad luck of being absent at this particular moment, and he told the other disciples, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe (20:25). A week later, Thomas had this opportunity, after which he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (20:28).
So, Jesus, after his resurrection, has a real body. It is, however, a different kind of body than he had prior to the resurrection. Luke tells us that Jesus said that, in the resurrection, people cannot die anymore, “because they are like angels and are children of God” (20:36). John’s Gospel tells that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection, but he told her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father” (20:17). John tells of Jesus appearing in a locked room (20:19). The Apostle Paul writes that after the resurrection Jesus appeared to more than five hundred people at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). Paul also says, “What is sown (the mortal body) is perishable, what is raised is imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:42), and he talks about the resurrected body as a “spiritual body.” What happens in Jesus’ resurrection, then, is not the resuscitation of a corpse, but a miracle of God whereby Christ receives a new, spiritual body, but a body nonetheless. Likewise, we who now and love Jesus will be raised up as he was, in a new, spiritual body, one that will never die.
Next month we’ll look at part three of Who Is God the Son!
Peace be with you,
05 Diane Langum
08 Jerry Martin
09 Wanda Graham
16 Kris Schertz
31 Mary Millar
Mother’s Day, May 08, 2022
01 Holy Communion
05 National Day of Prayer, Noon
08 Mother’s Day
Second Sunday Lunch
28 Family Fellowship Night, 6:00 pm Fun, Games, and Food.
30 Memorial Day
*Seeker’s Bible Study every Sunday 9:30 am with Worship at 10:45.
*Prayer Team – Tuesdays at 1 pm and Pastor’s Bible Study at 2 pm
These Tuesday events are in person or by zoom.
There are so many more “Treasures” to find. Come and Join Us!
National Day of Prayer, 12 Noon, Thursday May 5, 2022
Exalt the Lord, Who has Established Us! Colossians 2:6-7
At The Amphitheater, One Courthouse Drive in Denton.
(New Courthouse, Near Loop 288)
BLUE MOUND UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
8421 N. Interstate 35, Denton, TX 76207-1537 (940) 382-0825
Midway between Denton and Sanger at Exit 473
Sunday School: 9:30 am, Sunday Worship: 10:45 am
Linda Boyer, Newsletter Editor
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