One of the favorite images of Christmas is that of the wise men traveling by camel through a star lit night. One extremely bright star dominates the sky as they arrive on the crest of the hill overlooking Bethlehem. The journey is almost over—It’s been a long trip from a country far away in the east. There have been dangers along the way and now they are at the town of Jesus’ birth. There is just a few hundred meters to go. The wisemen look down from the star in the sky to the structure lying directly below its light. This is where they will find the newborn king of the Jews that they had heard about—I’m glad that the story of the wisemen is told apart from actual celebration of Christmas when we focus on Jesus’ birth, the choir of angels and the shepherds. The arrival of the wisemen has been traditionally part of Epiphany which is celebrated this week—on the 12th day of Christmas.
The gospel writer tells us, “They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshiped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him.” Even the wisemen with these precious gifts must have realized that their expensive presents were hardly adequate for the child in the manger, the God who has become human and now rests in his mother’s arms. Maybe that’s just the point—We too like the wisemen, are simply blown away by the awesomeness of God’s love that led him to becoming flesh in a little child. We fall to our knees, and fumble for a gift worthy of such a God given gift to us. What have we to give? Join us this week at Sedona UMC as the Rev. Fred Mast will deliver a sermon entitled “What Gifts Will We Bring?” Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 a.m. featuring joyful music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Immediately following worship you are invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time you will find anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always a warm welcome.
On Saturday morning January 6nd, all men of the Verde Valley are invited to join us for a delicious SUMC Men’s Breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at The Golden Goose Restaurant in West Sedona. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Rick Brothers sharing “Health Tips for the New Year”, and who can’t use these especially after all the Christmas goodies? Bring a canned food item for the Food Bank! All men are welcomed, encouraged and invited to attend and come and make a new friendship.
Tickets are now available for the “Women’s Heart to Heart Conference” to be held February 9-10 at Sedona UMC. This conference is a rare opportunity to reconnect with our Lord as we FIND OUR VOICE AND GOD’S HEALING HEART IN THE PSALMS. The teaching team comes from Cupertino, CA and includes Pastor Brian Morgan, a Stanford-educated world traveler who has brought insights to his congregation for more than 40 yrs., Karen Dabaghian, author of “Travelogues of the Interior”, and Elsie Kirchhofer, student of ancient Hebrew. Guest performances by James Garcia, Robert Gilbert, Desert Streams Dance, and local artist Jo Gilbert compliment the event. Information and tickets are available by contacting the church office (928)282-1780 or on line at WWW.H2H.org. Registration deadline is January 15th.
We offer a number of book and bible studies—Contact us about our Neighborhood Studies—So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona United Methodist Church. Visit our website at www.sedonaumc.org and “Like” us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you! Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona.
Come and grow with us!