2nd Sunday of Advent
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that Sunday was a wondrous day to enter into the holy season of Advent, our time of longing and anticipation for the child born in Bethlehem. If you were traveling and missed being with us, worship online here.
I do hope you enjoyed special moments around your Thanksgiving table this year. The famous 20th century columnist and humorist, Erma Bombeck, once quipped she came from a family where gravy was a beverage! I don’t know what part of the Thanksgiving tradition and feast is most important to you (for me, it is my wife’s wild rice casserole), but each little ounce or morsel is intended to point us to the source of all good gifts which come from above.
May I invite you to take a few moments at the start of this reflective and joyful season to ponder the story you’ve heard so many times before?
I’m imagining the fear Mary and Joseph must have felt as they concluded their 90-mile journey from Galilee to Bethlehem and found themselves with nowhere to stay. Can you hear Joseph knocking on the innkeeper’s door as his poor, teenage wife goes into labor? Can you envision the dimly lit stable and the smell of animals as our Savior first enters this world? Can you sense the panic of these new parents fleeing Egypt as a tyrannical, power-hungry ruler threatens the life of their baby boy?
It is no accident that Jesus shows up for us in this way; as a homeless child, a victim of violence, in a body condemned to death, in a Brown body, as a refugee.
God showed up. Jesus – Emmanuel, “God with us.”
God is with us in these days as we finish of 2022 and prepare for 2023.
Thank you for the over nearly 300 Estimate of Giving Pledges that have been submitted for 2023. If you have been unable to make your commitment for 2023 you can do so by clicking here.
We are always humbled when someone makes a gift to MUMC, and we take that trust most seriously. As you consider making an end-of-year gift, feel free to be in touch with us about any questions you might have about our finances or our comprehensive controls, including an annual external audit and a monthly review by our Finance Committee.
I know you will do all you can to help us finish strong in 2022. As of November 27, we need $556,857 to make our budget for 2022. We can do it church! You can make a gift to help us finish strong by clicking here.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled: God in Lowliness.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you to join this Sunday at 8:15 am (traditional; in person only), 9:30 am (contemporary; in person or online here),11:00 am (traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here).
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan and friends are embarking on a special Advent journey. This Sunday, he is preaching from Matthew 25:1-10 and his sermon is titled, Do Not Waste Time.
In our morning services, we will continue our Advent/Christmas Worship Series, Christmas: A Feast for the Senses. The last couple of weeks we’ve explored taste and sight. This Sunday we come to learn what it means to know God through touch. Pastor Paul’s sermon is titled The Awesome Touch of Christmas from Luke 1:39-45. According to behavioral scientists, the sense of Touch is the first of the senses to develop in the human infant, and it remains the most emotionally central throughout our lives. And yet, just as significant is spiritual touch. Without it our humanity remains incomplete, unfulfilled, and underdeveloped. In our passage today, we reflect on Elizabeth and Mary and how their lives are touched by circumstances so powerful that we continue to feel the effects today. Two babies, born under impossible and amazing circumstances.
By the way, our MUMC instrumentalists will be providing seasonal music prior to our 9:30 am and 11:00 am worship services on December 4, 11 & 18. It will be a festive gathering!
These weeks provide an excellent opportunity to invite a friend to join you for a sense-sational Sunday at MUMC. Click here for all of the opportunities during our sense-sational Christmas Celebration at MUMC! Let’s not only recover the joy of the good news gospel for ourselves but also share it with others. Let’s start a movement of enduring joy in an age of increasing despair.
And now, during these expectant, mysterious, longing and yet, hopeful Advent days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Waiting for the Light,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Joe Culpepper received the Golden Hammer Award from Greater Matthews Habitat? Joe works tirelessly on the homes that Greater Matthews Habitat builds for our neighbors. Congratulations to Joe!
Did you know that Global Impact provided 250 lbs of beef from a local farmer to two ministry partners? The freezers at Charlotte Rescue Mission and Dove’s Nest now have beef for residents’ meals. Thank you for your gifts to Global Impact!
Did you know that the beautiful new Christmas tree in the Narthex was decorated with ornaments made by kids in various United Kids programs here at MUMC?
Did you know that Emma Hankins recently graduated from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland with a Master of Science in Public Policy with Distinction? Proud parents are Amy & Fred DeVore, wishing her the very best from across the pond!