11th Sunday after Pentecost in Ordinary Time/August 21, 2019
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say what a day with Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band! It may not have been your kind of music, but you couldn’t deny the joy, the richness of spirit and the love of God permeating every fiber of their being. Our emphasis on Hope in a House of Blues provided quite a day. You can watch Mountain Faith and my sermon here.
And how about that ice cream on Sunday night? I hope you had plenty to eat. Throughout the evening, we did a little storytelling. I told the story of the day in a previous church where Cowboy Coward’s squirrel, Angel, got a little perturbed. We even captured a short film on our special day produced by our very own Tyler Lynn. You can watch here or on the link below.
The Way God Sees Us
I flew through New York City coming back from Africa the other day, and was reminded of one of my favorite NYC landmarks…Grand Central Station. It opened more than 100 years ago to great fanfare. In fact, more than three quarters of a million people pass by … every day.
Did you know that in the early 1900s an aspiring artist was commissioned to create a mural like no other, massive in scale, to represent the constellations of a winter night? When Grand Central Station opened to adoring reviews, the stunning ceiling was considered one of the greatest successes of mural art in modern history.
Except, here’s the thing…it’s wrong.
The nighttime star pattern was painted completely wrong. It turns out that the artist held the piece of paper upside down and copied the drawing backwards, making what the New York Times called “the greatest typo in modern architecture.”
When the mistake was caught, the response from the design team was swift. They stated that you just needed to change your perspective and consider the constellations from God’s point of view.
“It is meant to be the way that God sees us.”
There is wisdom in this response – though perhaps for a different reason than intended.
We are taught often and early in life that our mistakes, imperfections and differences are to be kept out of sight. But to put this distance between us and God prevents us from living fully into the gifts of a life in Christ.
It makes me think of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well (John 4:4-26). She was someone whose past choices had all but defined her. But Jesus meets her right where she is, and it is to this woman that he first speaks out loud the words, “I am the Messiah.”
Sometimes it is about changing the perspective. Our perspective. The Good News is that we have a God who is not distant and far away looking down at us – we have a God who knows and meets us exactly where we are, and knows how much further we can go to make this earth just a little more like it is in heaven.
And that, my friends, is how God sees us.
A Note from the Executive Director of Matthews Alive
Lee Anne Moore leads the wonderful Matthews Alive Labor Day weekend event for the Town of Matthews. She sent us a note the other day saying, “EVERY TIME someone mentions MUMC, working with MUMC, asking MUMC about anything, or meeting people from MUMC–the conversation is ALWAYS about how nice the interaction was, how understanding someone was, how friendly someone was … And not just relating to the festival….it is EVERYONE that’s ever said something about MUMC anytime that I’ve heard….I’m not kidding!!
“I just want the staff to know that–whatever your administration and your members are slipping in the water–we need to spread it around town (and drink it myself)!!! You all should be very proud of what people say about you in Matthews….not every organization can be, but MUMC certainly can!”
I hope you’ll sign up to help and volunteer with our hospitality ministry as we offer care and hospitality to those who come to the Matthews Alive parade on Saturday, August 31. You can volunteer by contacting Meg Moore at the Church Office 704-847-6261.
Other Upcoming Dates
I hope you’ll put the “X” on the calendar for these upcoming events:
- 4th Annual Hug-A-Cop Event on Saturday, August 24 at the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 4 pm to 8 pm – This day is so important. I hope you come by and join our friends at Mt. Moriah and Matthews Presbyterian in this community-building event.
- Disciple Bible Study begins in September. I hope you’ll get signed up today. I don’t know a more important study of Holy Scripture than this study. So many of you want to deepen your understanding of the Bible, and this is the time and place. Register here.
- United Methodist Men on Saturday, September 7, 7:30 am in The Commons – The Men of Matthews United Methodist gather on the first Saturday of each month. I think the world of this splendid gathering of men. I think you will as well. The breakfast is tasty and you’ll be headed back home by 9 am. I hope to see you there.
This Sunday (August 25) in Worship
This Sunday we launch into our full fall rhythm at Matthews United Methodist. Students are headed back to school and surface traffic on the roads indicate that Matthews/Charlotte is back to work. I hope you enjoyed a change of pace this summer and are ready to explore what God has in store for us as a transforming community of faith in the coming months.
We are not merely “kicking off” a new series of messages this Sunday; we are taking a critical step in our life together. We partner with one another to transform families, neighborhoods, and corporations in Matthews/Charlotte and around the world.
This high and holy calling begs a few simple questions: What does a life that joins Jesus daily actually look like? What kind of difference does transformation make in the life of an individual? While there might be lots of different ways to answer that question, our way of articulating it is that more and more we become people living The Spirited Life.
We will spend the next number of weeks exploring each of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5). That means starting this Sunday, we will begin 10 weeks of powerful study together … and that includes CCH, 801South and our morning Sanctuary services … all of us together learning of The Spirited Life. Oh, and by the way … students, teachers, school administrators … please bring those backpacks to church on Sunday. We want to bless you and send you forth.
I look forward not only to seeing you in these weeks ahead but meeting the guests you bring. Please be sure to introduce me to people you invite. I love those opportunities to give a personal welcome.
Trusting God from the bottom
of my heart,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that the men of CCH painted 12 classrooms in the Children’s and Preschool area on campus?
Did you know that Morgan Ennis married CJ Mauney on Saturday, August 10? Morgan is a child of Matthews UMC and is the daughter of Jeff & Ann Ennis.
Did you know that Captain Zachary Ted Thompson & Elizabeth Farrell were married on June 8? This took place at West Point, where Zachary was a 2015 graduate. Parents are Charleen & Jeff Thompson, and Grandparents are Ted & Elaine Kiker.
Did you know that Youth volunteers served between 350-400 bowls of ice cream at Sunday night’s ice cream social? Thank you to everyone who made the concert and ice cream social possible!
Did you know that 41 people (30 singers) attended the 20th Choir Retreat last weekend at Fort Caswell?