Church news for March 24

Published 9:39 am Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Christ Independent Methodist Church
Dr. Mac Stinson prayed a prayer of thanksgiving on Sunday, then announced his sermon topic as the Prodigal Son based on Luke 15:11-32.
Jesus told this story of the man with two sons dealing primarily with one son to the detriment of the other. The greatest lesson here is that it illustrates no matter how low a person may stoop, we can still come home and know that we are loved.
Still, perhaps the father exceeds rational behavior in rewarding greed and selfish behavior on the part of the prodigal son to the detriment of the “stay at home,” hard-working son. Yes, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I definitely believe in forgiveness. I also believe God expects steadfastness, hard work, responsibility and those virtues exemplified by the “stay at home” son to receive equal appreciation. This dad appears to have been very short sighted in dealing with the prodigal son and ignoring the other son’s years of service and devotion. The prodigal son’s lack of any expression of contrition is a glaring lack of character.
Continue to pray for the Clarence Hilyer family, Ellen Hepinstall’s son, Mable Mitchell, Mae Hunnicutt, Robert Cowart, Mavis Sallas, Margie Abernathy and O.J. McGriff. Pray fervently for our church family members, those who will be traveling during the coming week, our military, their families, our church and community.
Have a blessed week.

Rocky Mount United Methodist Church
Do you know anyone these days with the name Judas? Do you even know a dog or cat named Judas? Chances are that you answered “no” on both questions. Judas used to be a common name, just like John, Mike or even Joe. But that all changed when one person committed such a terrible act that nobody wanted to name their child with the same name.
According to the Gospels, Judas Iscariot agreed to betray Jesus by handing him over to the chief priests to be murdered. He would identify Jesus with a kiss on the cheek. In return, he was paid 30 pieces of silver. Since Matthew writes that Judas asked, “What will you give me if I deliver (Jesus) to you?” we are left to believe that greed was his motivation. Whatever led him, he followed through with his plan. Greed, even so long ago, was a very powerful motivation.
Jesus knew he would die and that he would be betrayed by one of his own. At the Last Supper, Jesus reveals this fact to his 12 apostles: “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Jesus forgave them, including Judas, as he died on the cross and asked for their forgiveness in, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Judas repented his betrayal and tried to return the silver to the chief priests, throwing the coins on the Temple floor. There are differing accounts on his death — the main one being that he committed suicide by hanging himself. The other (from the book of Acts) is a bit different and somewhat more controversial, but that wasn’t part of Sunday’s sermon and we’ll leave you a little bit to investigate on your own.
What can you learn from this scripture account? Several things. One, greed is a big temptation. It can make people commit many a wrong deed. Two, if you have been caught in some misguided temptations, go the Lord and ask for his forgiveness.
You can be cleansed and born again.
Join us in our walk leading up to Easter Sunday. Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again!