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Pastor Matt Riley                 pastormattpriley@yahoo.com             Union Sunday Worship 10:30am


SUNDAY'S BEGINNING 3rd             9am Gray Summit — 10:30am Union


No, not singing in the rain, al though there might be some songs of praise once we grasp the full reality of this promise, or even catch a glimpse of the promise . This series is about claiming the gifts of living in this life and yet fully participating in the reign of God, or what has been traditionally called the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God was the number one subject that Jesus came to share ; therefore , it is something we continue to try to understand and embrace.

Let’s unpack this idea of “the reign of God” a little bit, as it is crucial to the concept of this lectionary series. There has been some push back recently over certain traditional terms , and it is instructive to understand why. One the one hand, North American Christians see the idea of kings and kingdoms as something belonging to the past, and our images most often come from fantasy novels and television shows like “Game of Thrones” and other manifestations of kingly rule. While you may have been fascinated by the story in “ Game of Thrones, ” it is safe to say that show doesn’t represent the God we worship in any form or fashion. And to those unfamiliar with the nature of God, the correlation of this fantasy kingdom behavior to the God we are attempting to repre sent to the world would be detrimental to our witness. At the same time, an overemphasis on “king” as the patriarchal presentation of God leads to a single gender identification that doesn’t allow for the fullness of the Spirit nature of God, which can be experienced as the divine feminine as well as masculine manifestations. So, to fully claim this more expansive description of God, many have moved away from “king” and “kingdom” toward other terms, such as “reign.”

November 3: WEEK 1 Choosing to Abide
Habakkuk 1:1 - 4, 2:1 - 4 Isaiah 1:10 - 18 II Thessalonians 1:1 - 4, 11 - 12 Luke 19 : 1 - 1 0
November 10: WEEK 2 The Spirit Abides
Haggai 1:15b - 2:9 Psalm 145:1 - 5, 17 - 21 II Thessalonians 2:1 - 5, 13 - 17 Luke 20:27 - 38
November 17: WEEK 3 Shaped by the Reign
Isaiah 65:17-25 Isaiah 12 (or Psalm 118) II Thessalonians 3:6-13 Luke 21:5-19
November 24: WEEK 4 Allegiance to the Reign
Jeremiah 23:1 - 6 Luke 1:68 - 69 (or Psalm 46) Colossians 1:11 - 20 Luke 23:33 - 43


“Joy to the World,” a beloved Christmas classic, turns 300 this year. Composer Isaac Watt’s interpretation of Psalm 98 invites us to sing a “new song”–and it is a powerful cosmic performance of all creation being renewed and freed. Rather than “joy” being yet another word for “happiness,” we will discover that the depths of joy can be found especially in the midst of suffering, the work of justice, and the presence of compassion–all part of the coming of Jesus to this world and a message the world still so desperately needs.

December 1: WEEK 1 “Prepare Him Room: Hopeful Joy”
Isaiah 2: 1-5, Psalm 98, Romans 13:11-14
December 8: WEEK 2 “Repeat the Sounding Joy: Loving Joy”
Isaiah 11: 1-10, Psalm 98 , Matthew 3: 1-12
December 15: WEEK 3 “Make the Blessings Known: Unabashed Joy”
Luke 18:1-8, Psalm 98, Luke 1: 46b-55
December 22: WEEK 4 “Make the Nations Prove: Peaceful Joy”
Isaiah 7: 10-16 , Psalm 98 , Matthew 1: 18-25
December 24: CHRISTMAS EVE “The Lord is Come: Incarnate Joy”
Isaiah 52: 7-10, Psalm 96 , Luke 2: 1-20
December 29: SUNDAY After CHRISTMAS “Wonders of His Love: Compassionate Joy”
Isaiah 63: 7-9, Psalm 148, Matthew 2: 13-23
This page updated October 31, 2019
Questions, comments, submissions jma64658@hotmail.com