Worship Preview for 10.30.22

This Weekend: Sunday at 10:30am “Fish Stories: Breakfast Provided”

Scriptures: Psalm 104 and John 21:1-14. Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching.

Throughout our recent series, we have emphasized Jesus call to “follow me” and God as Creator of all – so that we understand God has provided all that we have and asks us to share the work of realizing the beloved community, the new creation. As we conclude our look at some of the “fish stories” of the Bible and consider our response to God’s provision, this week we revisit John 21. This scene is after the resurrection, and after there seems to be a conclusion to John’s Gospel – yet this story of a breakfast must be told. We again hear of weary fishermen who have come up empty, hearing and obeying a call to cast the nets again – and this time experiencing a remarkable catch. Several weeks ago Pastor quoted the artist Makoto Fujimura saying that “God does not need us – but God desires us. God creates space for us to participate, to co-create.”


Our texts today highlight that. Jesus calls Peter and the others to cast their nets again – to the other side of the boat – and to bring their catch ashore – and yet breakfast is already being prepared for them. The catch must be for others.


Psalm 104 also has this theme. A song of praise to God as Creator. A song of wonder at all of creation – and a recognition that “the ships” – human made vessels – are a part of that. Those ships sail on seas – symbols of chaos and power – filled with creatures like Leviathan. Often this great whale or monster (perhaps fitting for this All Hallows Eve weekend) is seen as terrifying and destructive – yet here it is a plaything of God’s. Between these two texts, I see a message of active participation but not control or even full understanding. We are to believe and to act, but to avoid thinking we are in charge. We are to follow Christ and share what we’ve been given. We are to, in the words of our stewardship theme verse, Psalm 50:14: “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High.” Which means our vows do not have to exactly match others – we are to find our path in the diverse w0nder of God’s creation, not require others to match it. Each of us must choose how we respond and share all God has gifted us.


We at First have been deeply blessed to have a number of visitors and new faces joining us in worship. Are you feeling the nudge to check us out as well? You are invited to join in worship and celebration at 10:30am at 301 S. National, coming just as you are with your questions, doubts and hopes - and to experience the transformative, healing love and grace of Christ - which makes us whole. Seewww.firstumcfsks.org/newvisitorsfor more information on what to expect.

This Week: Monday, October 31st – bring the kids to Trunk or Treat 5:30 to 6:30pm in the parking lot behind 301 S National.

Wednesday, November 2, 5:30pm Feeding Families in His Name– this weekly free meal is available to everyone without obligation. We are thankful for all the volunteers from other area churches and community groups that make this meal possible each week and for the recent support of the Fort Scott Community Foundation in awarding a grant to help us continue this service to our neighbors.

Community Office Hours: This coming week Pastor Christopher plans to be at Moe’s Bread from 9:30-10:30am Monday and Hedgehog, Ink! bookstore 2:30-3:30pm on Thursday. Come say hello! Appointments are available other times, call the church at (620) 223-1950 to schedule.

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