This is St. John's United Church of Christ
Rev. Donald D. Jones, Pastor
9971 Plum Hill Church Rd Nashville, IL 62263
Plum Hill Township, IL
Morning Worship 10:00 am
Sunday School 8:45 am
"Just a lot of people, doing the best they can..." John Stewart, "Mother Country", California Bloodlines
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Join the love movement and increase your faith with our family at Plum Hill!
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Pastor's Notes: Continue to send prayers of hope amid recovery to our neighbors in the panhandle of Florida and mourn with them on the loss of life as a result of Hurricane Michael. Please donate through Church World Service.
Sunday Worship: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - October 14, 2018 - Vacation Sunday
We gather in this place to worship together; to pray together and to praise the God of our faith, because this is our community gathering point; our sanctuary. For no other reason, than we are God’s people and we need a place which is special; a place to express our faith and a place to grow our community; a place where we feel we are safe and protected.That is why we are here today. Join with me as we sing the praises of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The One which creates, the One which redeems and the One which sustains us. Amen.
Reading from the Gospel: Mark 10: 17-31
I learned a new word this week and it is: ineluctable (from the latin; ‘from which one cannot escape’). Inevitable reality. It is ineluctable that I might give up my possessions; (it is highly unlikely).
For those of you who are active grandparents, parents and babysitters; I’m sure a week doesn’t pass without you witnessing an example of having to do without a possession. Children: all we have to do is watch a child when food is taken from him or her, perhaps a toy or object the child was playing with. They likely would become unhinged; either emitting a blood curdling cry or slugging their friend, playmate or sibling. Do you know what I am saying. At a very early age children become very territorial and possessive of what they consider to belong to them.
Therefore, is it realistic for American or Western civilization Christians (who grow from an early age with a possessive integrated gene) to think we can ever enter the realm or kingdom of God, let alone find it? To have eternal life, which so many of us seek? The challenge Jesus throws at us in scripture today is ridiculously not achievable (at least, for most of us). Alas, (v. 31 “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.”) It goes against our cultural thinking: the best shall be first and the worst shall be last! (Remember choosing up sides in sandlot baseball.)
What was Jesus thinking? Should we take his word as written or is it a metaphor (a figure of speech which is literally not obtainable? An inescapable reality we cannot achieve; ineluctable) Although this church would not survive without your financial support, I would rather not beat you over the head with that fact; rather I hope you would arrive at that conclusion on your own, or with some gentle persuasion. Jesus did not want to be a ‘spiritual drill sergeant’ and neither do I. I believe Jesus wants us to arrive at our own beliefs because we want to and not because we must.