St. Matthew's United Methodist Church
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Sunday Services: 9am Traditional | 11:15am Contemporary | 10am Sunday School
  
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 On the first Sunday of Advent, we were jolted by the words of the prophet Amos, who tells the nation of Israel that God hates their festivals, takes no delight in their assemblies, and will not accept their offerings. He calls them to let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, but Israel has cast things like justice and righteousness away like trash and has betrayed its covenant relationship with God in exchange for wealth, power, false idols, and false gods.

 Yet, at the end of Amos’ message, he offers a word of hope. God will take the mess that they’ve made, and will rebuild them into the house of David, sending them a Messiah that will make all things right, and calling together a new covenant community of all nations to be God’s people. Jesus is the prince of peace that restores us into the right relationship with God and then calls us to live as people of justice and righteousness.

 This Sunday we continue our series on The Heart that Grew Three Sizes, based on the story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by looking at the idea of hope. Again, we find one of the prophets, this time Zechariah, warning Israel to administer justice, show mercy, and offer compassion, but they refuse to pay attention, and their hearts are hardened. And again, God offers a word of hope, telling them that their light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. God has a plan to redeem humanity once and for all.

 The irony of the Grinch story is that the mean, cold, miserable Grinch takes all the marks of Christmas – wearing a Santa suit, dressing his dog Max as a reindeer, sneaking into their houses at night through the chimney – in his attempt to sabotage Christmas. Christmas is fundamentally about God revealed to us in Christ, coming to us as a baby, who will be called Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” Do our ‘things’ of Christmas point people to the Christ child? And then there’s grace! Grace is a wonderful gift to receive, but it can be hard to watch it being offered to someone like the Grinch.

 Being at peace gives us the necessary foundation to move on with the story. If everything about Christmas were taken from us, and all that was left was the manger, would we still have peace? Can we be ‘ok’ with God’s gift of grace being offered to all people? If so, then that peace can help us find what we’re truly hoping for because hope inspires us. Hope restores us. Hope is found in God…and God is with us!!

 

 Join us each Sunday in person or online at either 9am (traditional) or 11:15am (contemporary).  

We will also have BOTH services streaming live. 

 

You can click on the link below:
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 6017 Camphor Street | Metairie LA  70003 | 504-888-1155 | Fax: 504-888-1169

Office Hours M-Th 9:00am-2:00pm