Seeing the Dawn

By Chuck Griffin

Today is a special day. First and foremost, it is the third Sunday in this wonderful season of Easter.

The lectionary gospel reading for today is actually my favorite Bible story. Found in John 21:1-19, I will be preaching on it this morning, as will many of my colleagues, I am sure.

It is a story of redemption and renewal, and it also is a reminder that as we follow Jesus Christ, we may encounter hard times. Christ meets us where we are, however, and bathed in His power, we build on each other’s works until that day when we stand before our Savior.

If you are reading this before worship and you’re not sure whether you’re going, get up and go. Immerse yourself in what you should be offered today and then offer yourselves back to the Lord.

Oh, and by the way, as of today, the Global Methodist Church is now an official denomination. We do not yet know how many hoops we must jump through to get there, but I know a lot of us are ready to get jumping.

We will figure it out, and as we do so, let’s cling tightly to the peace the resurrected Christ offers us.

A Note to Readers

Hi, this is Chuck Griffin, the originator and primary author of “LifeTalk” on Methodist Life. I want to let you know about some changes that are coming.

I set LifeTalk up as a daily task in the early days of the pandemic, with articles at first appearing on the Luminary UMC website, where I was pastor at the time. Writing for each weekday was a challenge, but doable as so many of my normal pastoral activities were curtailed by Covid-19.

I was blessed a few months ago to have John Grimm take responsibility for writing an item one day each week, lightening the load somewhat. As we come out of the pandemic, however, I need to lighten it a little more. As our churches open up to more normal activities, I am thrilled to say that I am busier with classes, programs, planning meetings, home visits and other pastoral opportunities each week.

I will now personally write two items a week, published on Wednesday and Friday. I’m also changing my focus a little. These two items will be preludes to what I plan to preach on Sundays, and I will be providing a link to videos of those sermons, delivered at Holston View UMC in Weber City, Va.

If any of you would be interested in writing on an available day of the week, just let me know. You can email me at chuck@methodist.life.

Have a blessed weekend!

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-20 (NRSV)

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.