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Classic Worship: 8:45 & 10 a.m.

Contemporary Worship: 11:15 a.m.

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Just a Thought or Two: Picking Up the Signals

Worship with us this Sunday

8:45 AM & 10 AM | Classic Worship
in the Sanctuary at First Methodist

11:15 AM | Contemporary Worship
The Open Door at Buskirk-Chumley Theater


 

PICKING UP THE SIGNALS

“Where is God? I need to hear from God!”

Perhaps you’ve had moments like this?

You toss prayers and questions in God’s direction but feel like you’re unable to pick up any signals in response.

 

You are not alone

Other people have gone through intense seasons needing to hear from God. Feeling desperate for direction, they call out yet hear nothing but silence.

The psalmist, in Psalm 144:5, is frustrated with God’s lack of visibility and lack of intervention in a world of growing violence, injustice, and hatred. Things seem to be wobbling dangerously off-course when the psalmist cries out, “Lord, part your skies and come down! Touch the mountains so they smoke! Flash lightning and scatter the enemy!”

If you’re anything like me, more than a few times you’ve shouted for God to part the skies and show up in an obvious, impossible-to-miss way.

 

Remember God speaks in different ways to different people

We’re all wired differently.

Paul, in his New Testament letters, points this out over and over again. We have different gifts and different ways of seeing things.

People who study how human beings learn have also recognized our differences. Some of us are visual learners. Some of us are aural learners. Some are verbal learners. And some learn best in kinesthetic or physical ways.

Often, we need to see the truth we are learning. Sometimes, we need to hear it or speak it, as well. We might even need to process this truth by moving, touching, and doing. Taking action is an utterly physical way of appropriating truth.

 

God speaks in different ways to different people.

God has a history of speaking in a variety of ways to a variety of people.

God spoke to Isaiah through a vision.

God spoke to Elijah through a time of silence and solitude.

God spoke to Ezra and Nehemiah through the words of scripture.

God spoke to the people who arrived at the Jordan River to be baptized through water by John. There was something about the physical act of stepping down into the river, being covered with the water, that taught the people they were covered by grace.

Expect God to communicate with you. But don’t expect God to speak to you in the exact ways that God may be communicating with your neighbor or your running buddy or your colleague at work.

 

When God shows up

God has this way of showing up.

The Bible –and the experience of so many people just like you- teaches us this: God has this way of showing up.

When I am feeling overwhelmed by the silence or hiddenness of God, I remember a story in the 19th chapter of 1st Kings. The prophet, Elijah, has experienced a grand moment. On top of Mount Carmel, Elijah has just been a part of defeating the prophets of Baal, a false God. But now the assassins of Queen Jezebel are after Elijah, so he flees into the wilderness.

Terrified and hiding in a cave, the prophet hears God speak to him.

“Why are you here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9)

We’re told there is a windstorm, an earthquake, and a fire (all common signs that God was present). But this time, God communicates to the prophet in near silence, a sound described as “thin” and “quiet.”

This encounter with God turns Elijah in a new direction, and he begins a whole new chapter in his life.

God has this way of showing up.

I want you to know that today: God has this way of showing up.

 

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How does God speak to me?

Join us this Sunday morning at 8:45 or 10 in the Sanctuary, or at 11:15 for The Open Door at the Buskirk, as we explore the question “How does God speak to me?”

This weekend we will be sharing in Holy Communion. In a world where people are labeled, where fear threatens to become a contagious thing, and where divisions are on the rise, we are a community that welcomes ALL PEOPLE to the table of Christ.

We look forward to seeing you in worship. You may want to read the story in Acts 8:26-38 about God showing up and speaking on a wilderness road.

 

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Welcome the Reverend Donna Goings

We are very pleased to announce that on March 1st the Reverend Donna Goings will be joining our staff as our part-time Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care & Outreach. Donna brings a wealth of experience in ministry to us. She will help us provide outstanding and loving pastoral care to God’s people, as well as growing our outreach/mission efforts into the community and world.

Watch for more information about Donna in upcoming emails.

 

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THINGS YOU WILL WANT TO KNOW:

  • 2016 year-end giving statements can be picked up this Sunday at the Welcome Center desk at First Methodist or in the lobby of the Buskirk. If you don’t pick your statement up, we will mail it to you.
  • Valentine’s Dinner – don’t forget to purchase your tickets to this very special evening, and help provide the funds to send our youth to Christian camps this summer. Sign-up today at fumcb.org/valentines-form
  • 1st @ First is this Sunday at 1:30 PM. If you are new to our church, this informal, 57 ½ minute conversation with the pastors is just for you! You’ll learn about our church, its history, mission, and where God is leading us!
  • The Interfaith Winter Shelter is experiencing an urgent need for overnight volunteers, age 18 and over. Please email Allison Larmann at alarmann@umail.iu.edu to offer your help. Training will be provided.

 

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Grace & peace,

Pastor Mark

First Methodist