Now that the holiday season is past, the NSUMC has again resumed its Thursday evening sessions of biblical exploration. On Thursday Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:00pm the NSUMC conducted a combined live and online (via Zoom Meetings) sessions of biblical exploration/investigation. The live portions of the sessions were conducted in the Fellowship Hall downstairs of our church at: 389 North Main St., Salem, NH. Alternatively, the meetings were also joined remotely online via Zoom Meetings through the following link:
During the Jan 13th we explored the early days of Moses as presented in the book of Exodus, chapter 2. And, we investigated the significance of Moses as a type and foreshadow of the one real focus of the Written Word of God -- Christ Jesus, himself!
This Thursday, January 20th at 7:00 p.m. we will begin to explore two of the most significant events connected to the life of Moses: The giving of the Covenant at Sinai as spoken to the nation of Israel by God himself; and the Mosaic Law as dictated to Moses by God and transcribed by Moses' own hand.
I hope you will consider joining in on these biblical investigations. Be assured, I am quite confident that you may well learn things, biblically speaking, that you had little idea of previously. Yes, again, be assured, many church traditions and long-held "beliefs" don't always hold up under the light of biblical fact. Let us all explore and investigate what the Scriptures themselves have to teach us!
See you on Thursday evening?!
January 16, 2022
One of the Scripture Passages presented this week, January 16, 2022, in the Revised Common Lectionary utilized by the United Methodist Church (as well as many other denominations) is the story of Jesus at a wedding in Cana where he is called upon by his mother to "fix" an embarrassing wine problem for the wedding hosts. The passage is John 2:1:11, and it is when Jesus performed the first miracle of his ministry.
Undoubtedly, Jesus utilized two mechanisms with which to communicate Godly Truths during his 3 ½ year ministry. One was the parable. That is, an oral story about something or another that speaks of one thing, but which its true meaning is hidden behind the story told, oftentimes needing Jesus to literally explain his intended and hidden meaning.
The other mechanism utilized by Jesus to convey an idea or message in a hidden way was the use of miracles. Yes, miracles, those apparently supernatural, superhuman physical acts that would wow everyone -- and which many today still find irresistible to focus upon only, just wishing to be left in amazement of the mysterious work itself. And in doing so, never come to the knowledge of what Jesus was deliberately, but surreptitiously communicating via the miracle. In other words, many just want to bask in the mystery of a miracle, ignoring the purpose and message of it. Many simply want an inexplicable miracle to reinforce the rationally inexplicable, and to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah and that their savior can pull-off “amazing tricks.” And thereby proving, without the need for faith, that he, Jesus, is in fact the messiah and God.
Unfortunately, however, Jesus said such was not to be the case. No sign, expect the sign of Jonah would be provided to reveal that he was the Christ (Matthew 16:4.) None of his miracles, save his resurrection from the dead, were done to prove anything. They were done to communicate spiritual realities that would, in their time, be fulfilled. The miracle at the Cana wedding was one such example. Let us look at that first miracle.
We know the scenario. Jesus is at a wedding when the wine gives out way too soon. Jesus’ mother asks him to do something about it. But interestingly enough Jesus responds with, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come." What could he have possibly meant by that -- his hour had not yet come? Jesus had just been revealed by John as the messiah, the Lamb of God. Jesus had received water baptism from John. And, moreover, Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the declaration from God that God was well pleased with him. It would appear that Jesus was well on his way with mission and ministry as the Christ. Yet, he said to his mother that his time had not yet come. Ah! But what time specifically was Jesus referring to?
I suspect he was referring not to his at-hand earthly ministry of 26-30AD. But, Since he was at a wedding, that was taking place on the “Third Day”, I believe he was referring to the yet far future “Marriage Feast of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:6-9) his own future marriage that would take place at the beginning of the third millennial day 2000 years after his earthly 3 ½ year ministry was complete. It would be at that wedding feast that Jesus’ hour, the hour of his marriage to his bride the Church, would come. And, it would be at that time that Jesus would transform not simple water into the best wine ever, but when he would transform his bride (again, the Church peopled by human beings, they being symbolized by the six stone jars) from simple, mortal, corruptible, carnal beings into incorruptible, immortal, divinely spiritual beings! That was the message that Jesus was physically demonstrating with his miracle of changing water from six stone jars into wine at a wedding on a third day. No, be assured, Jesus was not attempting to prove himself as the Christ. And, he certainly wasn’t just “showing off” for the servants who witnessed the water/wine-thing. Jesus conducted the miracle, and John recorded it for the benefit of the millions who, without ever seeing him, would come to have unadulterated faith in who he was and to what those millions of faithful had in store for them when he would return 2000 years later to redeem them and come together with them as his cherished bride!
We can be confident that the miracle at Cana was not Jesus attempting to prove himself as the messiah (especially when he said no sign would be given for that purpose -- (Matthew 16:4.) What we can be sure of is that Jesus, and just as he did with his spoken parables, was revealing and confirming to his elect what was in the future for him and his. Have no doubt, all of Jesus’ miracles were about the future time when he returns for his bride and what will take place when he does.
And that my siblings-in-Christ is itself a miraculous thing, indeed!
The NSUMC has recently instituted an Online Giving Portal where anyone may electronically make a gift or offering to the NSUMC via Credit Card or directly from a bank through a Checking Account or Savings Account. To make an electronic donation, for any purpose -- Benevolence Ministry, Building Fund, Pledge offering or whatever, please click the secure link below and follow the prompts to make a one-time or reoccurring donation.
Thank you ever so much for your support!
Something New at Sunday School!
Be sure to check out our Sunday School page to see what's been happening. There are new photos to see of our kids and what they have been doing.
Check out the link below to the Merrimack Valley Life website and to a story about the Stickney brothers of Salem, NH. Anyone who has a history with the North Salem United Methodist Church should find the story presented at the link very interesting. Please check it out and be sure to take note of our own late and great Wally Stickney!
Take a gander of the "Happenings" page to see who have just received their first new Sunday School Bibles!
Of special interest, click the link below to see an article published on the website
"The Conversation" that may be of great interest to those familiar with the story of the destruction of Sodom and the rescue from the city of Abraham's nephew, Lot. Both events are depicted in the Book of Genesis. The article is thought provoking indeed. And so with that, everyone is encouraged to give it a read.
A PreRecorded Sunday Morning Worshp Service
Two Continuous Hours of Traditional Christian Hymns
The mission of the Benevolence ministry is to provide assistance, as we might be able and as funds are available, to any who find themselves with an urgent need on an immediate, short-term basis and/or until larger and more established charities can be brought in to provide aid should a situation prove to be long term.
Of course, such a ministry is only as effective as the resources at its disposal. So with that, available funds are always an ongoing concern. That is where YOU can help make a difference in this ministry at the NSUMC. Please consider making a donation from time to time to the NSUMC Benevolence Fund. A dollar here and a dollar there might be enough to help someone where there is no other immediate help available.
To make a donation of any amount to the Benevolence Fund, please donate via our Online eGiving portal located near the top of this page, see the NSUMC Lay Leader, Tom Kinney, the NSUMC Finance secretary, Janet Lavalle, or drop an envelope into the collection basket with the words: "Benevolence Fund" written across it so our counters know where to direct it.
Please consider helping this new NSUMC ministry and let us all take part in fulfilling the directive of our Lord Jesus when He said:
"Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it (a kindness) to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’' (Matthew 25:40)
Over Three Hours of Contemporary Christian Music