Light of the World
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
“The Sermon on the Mount is perhaps the greatest sermons preached by perhaps one of the best preachers around!” A seminary professor once said this – tongue in cheek of course – to a class I was a part of. Of course, it is the great sermon of Jesus. Of course, Jesus is the great preacher of the New Testament. And yet, we all need to spend more time in this section of Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 5:1-7:27). Over the next few months, I’m going to use selections of this sermon for my monthly Vine article.
If you were driving into town from the North, it was a welcome beacon that told travelers they would soon be home.
My home town had a small municipal airport just North of town. Small aircraft could easy land and take off from this airport. Crop dusters and small personal airplanes used this airport. The runways were expanded a few years after I moved away to accommodate some smaller jet planes but by and large it was a small town, small airplane airport. Near the center of the airfield there was a tower that would shine lights in the evenings. The two lights would rotate at the top of the tower. The lights on the tower could be seen for miles. Our farm was 3.5 miles away from the airport and we could see the lights shining every night. If you were driving into town from the North, it was a welcome beacon that told travelers they would soon be home.
I’ve thought of that airport beacon many times over the years especially when I’ve read this passage from Matthew’s gospel. Jesus tells his disciples and all who will hear that they are “the light of the world”. He’s telling them that they are called to shine the light of God into the world. A world that for many seemed so dark and lonely. A world that seemed to be filled with despair and chaos. He reminds them that they have received God’s light and that this light should never ever be hidden. It should be shared freely and openly. It should shine so that the world might see that there is indeed goodness and mercy for all who seek it.
I think Jesus might have words for the church that echo what he said to those at the sermon mount.
There are some who would say that we are living in very similar times to the time of Jesus. We seem be living in times that are filled with a lack of civility and compassion. A darkness that permeates decent conversation and fills us with a feeling of hopelessness. We feel overwhelmed by a voices raised in anger and fingers pointing in seemingly every direction. I think Jesus might have words for the church that echo what he said to those at the sermon mount.
…let God’s light shine into the world and share God’s better way.
I believe that Jesus would call up all of us to let God’s light to shine in all our interactions. Whether they are in the lively discussions amongst friends but also in the discourse of disagreement with those who wish us ill, Jesus would call us to let God’s light shine not only in our words, but in the actions we take with those around us. He would call us to let God’s light shine and show that common curtesy and civility are the better way. He would call us to stand boldly – even if we stand alone – and let God’s light shine into the world and share God’s better way.
Youth Ministries Update
Spring is almost here and with it comes new life and new hope! We’ve had enough rain to ensure a beautiful spring this year!! It makes us think about these words from Deuteronomy 32:2:
“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”
We pray that this beautiful season will remind us all to listen to God’s words, guiding us daily! In preparation for that the youth’s Lenten Bible study begins on Monday, March 11th from 6:00 PM -8:00 PM at Starbucks on Madison Ave. in Murrieta. All youth are invited!
We are also beginning our new theme for youth group! The Senior High theme is “Direct Message” (our conversations with God aren’t EXACTLY like a direct message on Instagram, but we will be discussing how it’s easier than you think!) The Junior High theme is “”Link” (we’ll explore why and how we pray to God). Parents, we post very cool conversation ideas for our youth on our Facebook page “MUMC Youth”. Hard copies are available in the youth room on Sundays. Ask Mandy & Jenn for more info on connecting through the Parent Cue app.
Lastly, we invite everyone in the congregation to come to church HUNGRY on Sunday, March 3rd and enjoy a Youth Burger Bash! Come feast on delicious hamburgers, hotdogs, veggie burgers, salads, chips, drinks and all the fixin’s! All your donations will be used for our 2019 Sierra Service Project where our youth will be working on the Native American Reservation in Chiloquin, Oregon!! (Future burger bashes will be April 7th, May 5th and June 9th!)
Sunday, March 3rd: Burger Bash fundraiser for SSP, All youth in worship 9-10 AM, Youth choir 11 AM, Youth Group 12-3 PM
Sunday, March 10th: Jr High Sunday School 9 AM, All youth and parents please join us for a Youth Advisory Council meeting 10-10:45 AM in the youth room, Youth Choir 11:00 AM, Youth Group 12-3 PM
Youth Lenten Bible Study at Madison Starbucks in Murrieta 6-8pm, Mondays, Mar. 11th, 18th, 25th, April 1st, 8th & 15th
Sunday, March, 17th, 24th and 31st: Jr High Sunday school 9am, Youth Choir 11 AM, Youth Group 12-3:00 PM
In the love and peace of Christ,
Your MUMC Youth Directors:
Gala – Dinner and auction – Sunday, May 19nd.
Want to enjoy an evening of great food and festivities? The Golf Dinner, Gala and Auction will be held on Sunday May 19th at the Bear Creek Golf Club. The evening starts at 5:00 PM with a social hour followed at 6:00 PM with a delicious Texas Barbeque dinner – all for $50!! The gala dinner and auction are for everyone, not just golfers!
Golf —Tournament at Bear Creek Golf Club –Monday May 20th.
Want a chance to play one of the premier golf courses in the valley? Your entry fee covers prizes, golf, cart, range balls, morning coffee and rolls a box lunch for the tournament day and your dinner and auction at the Sunday Gala. Registration begins at 8:30 AM with a 10:00 AM shotgun start. Cost is $150 per individual. Special packages are available.
Giving – All proceeds benefit the Food Pantry
Please consider donating a gift certificate or item from your business for our auction and/or opportunity drawing. Auction items and certificates are needed by Thursday, May 16th.
Now in its nineteenth year of operation, the Food Pantry provides basic food supplies each week for 100-150 families. Around the holidays, (Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas), those numbers increase to 200 per week!
You may register for the events at the Welcome Center between services on Sunday, visit the Church website at murrietaumc.org or at the Church office during the week.
For more information stop by the Welcome Center on Sunday for details and entry forms or contact Bruce Hartwig at 951-696-5115 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year the event raised $15,000 for the Food Pantry, and with your participation and support we can top that this year.
Thank you for your generosity for this great cause!
Our attendance for March at the pantry was running around 110 each week. There are always more at the end of the month when the Missions team serves breakfast. Help arrived from the Annual Tour de Murrieta & Kids Bicycle Race on March 9thas the children brought canned goods instead of paying an entrance fee for their race. A local real estate office collected food and the National Honor Society Chapter at Vista Murrieta High School collected supplies for the homeless. The Breakfast Lion’s Club collected cans of soup for the pantry at their Stone Soup luncheon. What would we do without our friends in the community? We are truly grateful to them all.
Our attendance for March at the pantry was running around 110 each week
The absolute two favorite items from the choice table are Dinty Moore Stew and Canned Chicken breast. Both of these items are too expensive for the pantry budget so they only appear on the table when someone donates them. If you’re thinking of bringing something for the shopping cart on Easter, either of those items will make someone happy the following Friday.
Now in its nineteenth year of operation, the Food Pantry provides basic food supplies each week for 100-150 families. Around the holidays, (Easter~ Thanksgiving, Christmas, those numbers increase to 200 per week. The families that it serves consist of the homeless, elderly, disabled, working poor, and out of work. Support for the pantry comes from the congregations, grocery stores, bakeries and from the community through school food drives, library, scout and service organization drives. Over forty volunteers work each week, either in the Pantry on Friday mornings, or shopping to replenish the supplies.