What is the Gospel?

Pastor Terry Tatum Did you know that this year Americans spent somewhere between 8.5 to 10.5 percent more on Christmas gifts than they did in 2020? It was roughly $859 billion on holiday purchases, to be exact.   I don’t know about you, but I have to think this isn’t what God planned for us to be doing when he sent His one and only Son to be born in a manger 2,000 years ago. The Christmas season is about praising God for sending us His son, not for us to praise Amazon for all the great Christmas deals.  I feel …

Simeon’s Song – Nunc Dimittis

Pastor Craig Carter During this Advent season, the Sundays leading up to Christmas, we have been listening to the Songs of Christmas. Not the ones we normally associate with the holiday, like Jingle Bells or Joy to the World. Instead, we’ve focused on the ones contained in Luke’s gospel.  In his account of the birth of Jesus, four characters burst forth into song. So we have looked at Mary’s Song, Zechariah’s Song, and the Angels’ Song. Today we’re going to complete the series by examining Simeon’s Song. Like the others, it is commonly referred to by a Latin title, Nunc …

The Angels Song – Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Pastor Terry Tatum This Advent we are looking at the Songs of Christmas as shared in Luke’s account of the birth of Christ. Four different sections in Luke are the inspiration for four classic Christmas songs that we have all heard many times. The songs are traditionally known by their latin names, but they also can be referred to as Mary’s Song, Zechariah’s Song, The Angels’ Song, and Simeon’s Song.   Near Easter each year I often get the chance to tell the story of the last week of Jesus’ life. From Jesus riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the …

Zechariah’s Song: Benedictus

Pastor Craig Carter Last week we observed that music plays a big role in our Christmas celebrations. The reason we’re putting so much emphasis on the Songs of Christmas during this Advent season (the four Sundays prior to Christmas), is because they’ve been front and center since the Nativity itself.  Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth includes 4 songs being sung by the cast of characters. Last week, we looked at Mary’s Song, commonly called the Magnificat (its Latin title). In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the Angels’ Song and Simeon’s Song. But today we’re going to turn our attention to …

Mary’s Song: Magnificat

Pastor Craig Carter Today marks the beginning of Advent – the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Our English word, Advent, comes from the Latin word meaning “coming.” So this is a time of the year in which we remember when God, through His Son Jesus, came into the world as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem.  But we also anticipate that, one day, Jesus will come again in power and glory. So during the Advent season, we watch and wait for our Savior’s appearance. Technically speaking, the Christmas season doesn’t officially begin for Christians until Christmas Eve, but …

Big Words: Glorification

In our current sermon series we have explored the language of our faith that communicates what we believe as Christians. Today’s post will discuss one final big word, glorification, which is the end result of all the other words.  We’ve quoted the founder of our denomination, John Wesley, a good bit during this series. For him, glorification was the ultimate goal of the Christian life and the final step in salvation. It is when we achieve our divinely-appointed destiny and share in God’s glory with our resurrected bodies in the new heaven and the new earth. Glorification is the culmination …

Big Words: Perseverance

Pastor Craig Carter Throughout our current sermon series, we’ve pointed out that, as Methodists, most of our theological views are similar to other denominations, but in some areas we differ.  Pastor Terry ended his recent message on ecclesiology by discussing how we, in the church, hold to one baptism. But he pointed out that as United Methodists we believe baptism can be administered through three methods – immersion, pouring, and sprinkling. Some other denominations feel differently.  Today we’re going to look at another subject that Methodists view differently than some other denominations, although we use the same big word – …

Big Words: Ecclesiology

Pastor Terry Tatum This post is a continuation of our “Big Words” series, in which we are digging deep into the meaning of some of the big words that comprise the language of our faith.  Usually, I have a funny story about how Pastor Craig assigned me the least fun topic in the series, but not his time. He left me with an essential teaching in the church, a “Big Word” that I’ll bet many of you have never heard and if you have heard it, you probably have never heard it explained before. Today’s “Big Word” is Ecclesiology, which …

Big Words: Sanctification

Pastor Craig Carter Earlier in our current series we identified a term that is somewhat distinctive to us as Methodists – prevenient grace. Today we’re going to explore another term that has traditionally caused our denomination to stand out from the crowd – sanctification.  Whether we’re Methodists by upbringing or by choice, we hold tightly to the big word, sanctification. We also refer to it as holiness, or Christian perfection (the term our founder, John Wesley preferred).  According to John Wesley, “This doctrine (Christian Perfection) is the grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called Methodists; for the …

Big Words: Assurance

In our current sermon series, we’re looking at some Big Words that aren’t necessarily part of our common vocabulary and so they are sometimes difficult to understand. But these “big words” are the language of our faith that communicate what we believe as Christians. They form the doctrine, or teaching, of the Church. Throughout the series, we’ve pointed out that, as Methodists, most of our theological views are similar to other denominations, but in some areas we differ. Some of our differences are highlighted in an article I recently came across called, “How Many Christians Does It Take to Change …