Friday, March 17, 2023
While recently re-reading John's Gospel account, I came across these very familiar words...
"God did not send his Son into the world to condemn
the world, but to save the world through him."
(John 3: 17)
You know, it's fun to speculate about heaven. What will we do? What will a life without pain and fear be like? Will heaven's streets really be gold or is that just a biblical metaphor?
But what about life in the other place? That's not such a pleasant topic. Theologians speculate and debate about what hell will be like (e.g., "Is it a real location -- or just a metaphysical state? Is it really hot there -- or is that just a metaphor?")
Like Heaven, hell is a mystery to us. But two things are certain. First, hell is something separated from God's love, from God's grace. Second, hell's gates are shut from the inside. The Bible makes it clear that God calls out to us, urging us to come to Him. God's Word assures us that God doesn't want anyone to perish.
So, the next time you're on your way to an earthly destination -- work, home, the movies -- take some time to consider your ultimate destination. Do you want to spend the afterlife basking in God's love and mercy? Or filled with the regret and anguish that come from rejecting God's love and mercy? Eternity is a long time to spend separated from the One who loves you more than anyone else in the universe. Choose wisely. Your choice makes a world of difference!
You think it's hot here? --- GOD
+++ This Sunday we worship at 8:30am and 10:00am as we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Lent. And we will meet and hear from the woman at the well from John's 4th chapter. What was it like to meet Jesus at the well while drawing your water? And how did Jesus know so much about her? Come and hear from me and her about that experience. And, of course, we will be "live streaming" the 10:00am worship on the church's Facebook page and then "uploading" the completed worship to our YouTube channel. How ever you are most comfortable... join us for worship this weekend!
+++ This Sunday is also UMCOR Sunday. A lot of us are filling our Lenten Self Denial boxes to assist with earthquake relief as our Lenten devotion, but we also can support UMCOR's work with a special gift using the envelopes at church on Sunday. Thanks for supporting the mission work of our United Methodist Church!
+++ Speaking of mission work... Have you always wanted to be part of a mission team experience but not be able to clear all the time away in your schedule? We have a great opportunity for you! Immanuel is planning a Mission Trip to the Buffalo area on April 17-21, 2023. While there, our folks will be helping to repair damage caused by the devastating snowstorms of the fall. There is also the opportunity to spend part of the week on this trip since Buffalo is so close a destination. You do not need to be a contractor to be an integral part of the team... you only need to have a servant's heart! There are jobs for all ages and abilities. If you are interested, plan to attend an organizational meeting in the Fireside Room on Tuesday, March 21st at 7:00pm. There are some forms to be completed to participate and all of your questions can be answered at this important meeting!
+++ On Sunday we begin taking orders for Easter plants to decorate our Sanctuary on Easter. See Phyllis to place your order starting this Sunday.
+++ Our Finance Team will meet on Tuesday, March 21st at 6:00pm in the Fireside Room, after their 4:00pm Audit meeting. Members... please mark your calendars for this rescheduled meeting. Thanks!
+++ And finally... it's almost time for our Spring Arts and Crafts show on March 24 & 25! We have many crafters signed up and it is a great chance to invite your friends to join you for a fun time at the church! And we still need helpers in several of the jobs. Talk to Betty or signup outside the Fireside Room on Sunday. We guarantee you'll have a lot of fun!
Make this day a great day and always keep your ultimate destination in mind!
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