Matthew 18:20 "For Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
Mission Statement for midland Park UMC
Therefore, we the people of Midland Park UMC, will reach out, invite, and introduce people to Christ by being disciples, using Christ as our model. We will prosper and grow, and be a meaningful instrument in the well-being of and service to the
Midland Park community and the world!
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E-Sermon for Sunday, May 24th, 2020
Theological Reflections: John 24:44-53 NRSV - Ascension Sunday
I have never been much into sports. As a young lad I participated in the obligatory Physical Education activities like flag football, basketball, soccer. Never baseball: too boring and my batting average was zero. For me sports, was sailing and golf. The only community sport in which I actually enjoyed was field and track. I do watch my share of college and pro football; but a dyed in the wool sports fan I am not. I don't spend hours on end watching ESPN or listening to sports radio. I don't really know who's who on what team or statistics of any person/team. I just watch football. You never see any field and track events on TV; perhaps during the summer Olympics, yes, there is the hammer throw, pole vaulting, various track events and the like. My favorite is the relay race where a team runs around the track and hands off a baton to another team member several times. If you mess up and drop the baton, it slows you up and spells disaster for your team. Then it's hard to recover; the race is usually lost. As we examine John 24:44-53, it's basically about a relay race. Jesus and the boys are in Jerusalem where he has appeared to them for the last time. This takes place 40 days following the Resurrection. Jesus is instructing the eleven remaining disciples as to the mission that lies ahead. The Evangelist John tells us: "Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures." Jesus had done the same for the two walking to Emmaus on Easter Sunday. By explaining all that was written about him from the time of Moses to the present, they gained first hand knowledge from the actual source. Their minds began to clear; the fog was lifted, their eyes were opened, and they had complete understanding. Imagine the joy they felt when Jesus' mission and what Jesus was offering became crystal clear. Then Jesus told them to remain in Jerusalem until the Father sends upon the Holy Spirit which Jesus had promised. They were to be witnesses for Jesus and all that Jesus stands for. Then Jesus leads them out of the city as far as Bethany. Upon arrival he lifts his hands and blesses them; and while blessing the eleven he withdrew and was carried into heaven. Jesus was returning to the Trinitarian Godhead to once again be in perfect union with the Father. From here on out, Jesus was working from home (sound familiar?). The disciples returned to Jerusalem with great joy; they were worshipping Jesus and continually blessing God in the temple. The relay race was complete; Jesus had handed off the baton: to proclaim that "the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem." This is the mission of the Church! This is the baton to be carried on the race to share the good news of the Gospel! The good news this morning is that we are called to actively participate in this relay race. We are to share the good news; we are to tell our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, our communities about Jesus. When we fail to fully participate, we are dropping the baton; and that spells disaster. The Word will not be shared with the world. Like the disciples, we are witness to the awesome majesty of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Don't worry about how to accomplish this task, because the gift of the Holy Spirit is with us very step of the way. The Spirit will furnish the words to share; and the Spirit will be with you in the study of the scriptures: the Spirit will open your mind and give you understanding. We can faithfully serve Jesus by being pro-active in being true followers of Christ! Be a member of Team Jesus and spread the news: Christ is Risen; he is risen indeed.- Pastor Harry
John 24:44-53 NRSV
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah[a] is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses[b] of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The Ascension of Jesus
50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.[c] 52 And they worshiped him, and[d] returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.[e]
Celebrations for the Month of June!
The Church Office would like to wish our members a Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!
Our Church Choir - We always have room for more!
Our Choir meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Choir Room located in the Educational Building. We would love for you to be a part of our worship through song! (We have temporarily suspended our normal schedule due to the COVID-19 crisis. Please check back for updates!)
Bible Study has been canceled for May. We will update meeting dates once a decison has been made for June. Please continue to check our website.
The Bible Study will be led by Pastor Harry Gindhart in the Conference Room. We have started out in the Book of Isaiah. We will meet weekly once the threat of COVID19 has passed.
Ministries that Midland Park UMC support!
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Church office closed remainder of the week).
COME AND WORSHIP WITH US!
(ALL CHURCH SERVICES AND EVENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED THROUGH JUNE 10TH.)
For future reference: We have Church School that begins at 9:45 a.m. followed by a worship service at 11:00 a.m. led by Pastor Harry.