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
Come and Worship: View a Map on the About page and GPS our location. We are easy to locate!
Join the love movement and increase your faith with our family at Plum Hill!
Sharing the Word:
Pastor's Notes: In 2019, an unsettled world needs the peace and comfort we offer as believers; please pray for our sisters and brothers around the world who are mourning the loss they have experienced in their lives. PD
Sunday Worship: Due to inclement weather, Sunday School and Morning Worship have been cancelled for January 20, 2019. Please return with us on January 27th. PD
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.
A response to the secularization of Christmas:
The Blessed Day of Christ
Returning Christmas To Its Rightful Place
As a child, I was confused when I saw someone write Merry Xmas. What did that mean? I was told it was an abbreviation of Christmas, and I feared ever writing it because, quite honestly, I thought it to be sacrilegious. To me, it was a symbol of taking Christ out of Christmas; “X”ing out an important word and lessening its meaning, much like relegating Christmas to any other holiday. I said to my parents and say it even today; our Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah (a special 8 night “Festival of Lights” remembering the rededication of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem) and our Muslim friends celebrate Eid Al-Fitr (which follows a 30 day period of fasting called Ramadan), so why not honor Christ with Christmas.
When Gabriel visited Mary at the young age of 14, little did anyone know the importance of that moment. The visit by the Angel and the resultant birth have changed history, more than any other event. Filled with fear, Mary received God’s assurance that all would be well. The Bible has described the many events which led to the birth of the infant Jesus, and the recurring events of miracles and healing during his life. Had this birth not occured, how would His command to love one another, as we love ourselves be fulfilled?
Many popular phrases describe the Advent Season, but Mary truly learned the “reason for this season” was the birth of her son. The true meaning of Christmas has been watered down by the very people who describe themselves as devout Christians. Christmas has become just another “Hallmark” holiday, where retail sales and gift-giving have become the “Savior” of this nation and for this world. It has been made into a holiday, much like Halloween, or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, or national holidays honoring America, the military, or Labor day, President’s Day and the list goes on. A nation which subscribes to the teachings of Jesus and declares it a nation built upon its religious heritage do not take seriously the words of the prophet Isaiah, “prepare the way of the Lord.”
This is a holiday for believers to declare as Mary did, “we are the Lord’s servant.” Her acceptance of the Lord and her dedication to serving the Lord changed her life as it does for anyone who dedicates their life in service to Christ. Christmas is a time of charity and showing gratitude and gratefulness. It is the time we emulate the life of a true Christmas hero; the real “St. Nicholas” who in the 3rd century helped persons of need survive.
At the very least we can bring Christ back to Christmas by lifting up a friend in need, by listening, by doing and by sharing Christ with others. May each of you celebrate “this blessed day of Christ” as a day of true service to the Lord.