Pastor Linda Settles
Out of Sight
Theme for 2023: Faith Forward – The Year of Extraordinary Faith!
Out of sight! That’s a slang term from the 1970s that signified that something good had happened. But it also reminds me of when my mother used to leave for work or to run an errand, and she would leave me and my two brothers at home with chores that needed to be done before she came back. Maybe you had a similar experience: “Have those dishes washed by the time I get back!” Or some similar parental command.
Here's the thing – my brothers would watch her leave the house, get in the car, pull off and drive down the street. Then it was party time! Jumping on the furniture, blasting music or the TV, eating ice cream, you name it they did it! Oh, what was I doing? Why, being prophetic, of course – “Ooo, you’re gonna get in troublllllllle! Wait till mama gets back. I’m gonna telllllll!” Maybe you had a similar little sibling. So, they did what older siblings do when the baby has them dead to rights – they bribed me! Ice cream for everyone! In fact, sometimes they used me as the lookout to be on the watch for mama’s return.
Isn’t it funny how earthly life shows us spiritual principles?
On one occasion, while He [Jesus] was eating with them, He gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about.
5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
This was Jesus’ parting words to the disciples. He had left them with instructions found in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). And now He was giving them one last command, don’t leave. Wait for the Holy Spirit to come. Then Jesus left. And here’s the part that reminds me of my mother…
…He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken
from you into heaven, will come back in the
same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”
Jesus was with them, giving them instructions, then He left! He ascended into Heaven. And just like my brothers, they were watching, watching, watching until Jesus was out of sight. But the two men/angels told them that He would be back. So, it was up to the disciples to carry out Jesus’ commands, to do their chores, before Jesus comes back. So, my mother wasn’t being mean, she was being biblical! Wow!
So, what should we make of this? It’s important for us to be about our Father’s business, too, because Jesus is coming back! Oh, we don’t know the day or the hour. We didn’t know the exact time my mother would return, but one thing we knew was that she would eventually come back home. Many times we thought we had her timing down, so we’d wait till the last minute to do our chores. But sometimes we’d get caught with our work undone. But after doing that once, you knew that was not a good idea.
Friends, Jesus has ascended to Heaven, as Scripture tells us. But He will be coming back for those who have stayed the course, made disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit, those who have loved God and their neighbors, those who have kept His commands.
Why am I so passionate about sharing my faith? Because He’s coming back! Why fight for the poor, why invite others to know Jesus, why love my enemies? Because He’s coming back! And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be caught with my work undone.
Join us for worship this Ascension Sunday, as we continue the sermon series: Family Conversations with the sermon: Out of Sight. You can worship in-person or you can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Assisted Listening Devices are available to anyone who needs an extra boost in hearing worship service. We have quite a few available. Just go to the sound booth and request one.
Pancake Breakfast this Sunday, May 21, 8:30-9:45am. And only $10! No children’s Sunday School this Sunday. This is a youth fundraiser for their upcoming mission trip. Let’s show them our support and have breakfast together!
HeGetsUs The final week! No book is required. We’ll talk about the thought-provoking videos that you may have seen as commercials on TV and during the Super Bowl. It’s led in a discussion format, and it’s open to everyone, member or not, anyone who wants to get to know the One who gets us, even when we don’t get ourselves! If you’d like to have a bite to eat, dinner (potluck style) is at 5:45pm and the group goes from 6:30-7:30pm. Lea Doyel is the facilitator.
Board Meeting Monday, May 22, 6:30pm in Room 121.
Annual Conference The MO Annual Conference will be in St. Charles for the next two years! That means you can see what happens when every Missouri pastor, district superintendent, lay delegate, and the Bishop gather in one room to conference, and do the work of the church! There will be a Memorial Service, Retirement Service, and Ordination Service over the course of the weekend. The dates this year are June 9-11. Visitors can attend sessions for free. NOTE: On Friday, June 9 at 7:00pm, there will be a FREE concert by the Grammy Award winning Gospel artist Bebe Winans! For more information, including the agenda, click on this link: AGENDA — MOAC23 (moacinfo.com).
Many Voices, One God In the month of June you’ll have the opportunity to hear many voices expound on our great God! I’ll preach on the first Sunday, and here’s the rest of the lineup:
6/11 Rev. Rocky Marlowe
6/18 Scott Lambert (Father’s Day)
6/25 Rev. G-Gay Harris
What a blessing to hear what the Lord will say through His servants!
Stay in the Know! Don’t forget to pick up your monthly church calendar, this month’s Memory Verse Card, and the printed newsletter at the Welcome Center or the Coffee Station. To see the calendar online here’s the link: Church Calendar. Just our way of helping you to stay in the know!
“Unless the Lord builds the house,
Those who build it labor in vain.”