Lent

From the Pastor’s Desk:
At the center of our lives as Christians are the passion, death, and resurrection of
Jesus the Christ. At the center, therefore, of our worship together, spiritually and
very often physically, is the cross; the cross on which Jesus willingly gave his life
that we all might have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) Every Sunday is a
little Easter and the lectionary readings focus on retelling the story of the Passion
narrative and the Proclamation of Easter: “Christ is risen, the Lord is risen indeed!”
(Luke 24:34) Therefore, each year during Lent, we join Jesus on the journey to the
cross, and it is a journey into which we all are invited.” “Pick up your cross,”
commands Jesus, “and follow me.” (Luke 9:23). It is the cross of love and
discipleship, faithfulness and devotion, repentance and renewal. During our 40
day journey through Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 6
th, and culminating in Holy Week, let us reflect on our own broken relationships with
Christ and with one another, let us seek to rejoin Jesus on the journey toward
wholeness and fulfillment in God. May Lent be a time for us to realize the purpose
of our life and to deepen our relationship with the one who gave his life for ours.
May we pick up our cross and follow him.
Peace
Pastor David Krueger

A New Year

Psalms 86:11 – “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth.”

We are a month into the New Year and many of the resolutions we made on January 1st have already fallen by the wayside. The scales are hidden in the back of the linen closet and the exercise equipment is collecting dust and clothing. But my prayer for you is not that you lose weight or get in shape; no my prayer for you and me, is that we grow closer to God in our everyday, ho-hum lives. May we grow in our knowledge of and love for the God of all Creation. May we seek out time in prayer, not out of obligation or habit, but with a sincere thirst to know our heavenly Father on a more personal level. Through a strong prayer life, we can petition God for our needs, praise Him for our blessings, and seek to discover His plans for our lives. If you haven’t already done so, then start today, seeking out God’s guidance and strength for the journey which lays ahead. Invite Him into every corner of your life and ask Him to teach and lead you; always remembering that God journeys beside us every step that we take. Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.” The Lord has promised never to leave us nor forsake us; He is always within prayers reach just waiting to hear our voice calling out to him. May we learn to keep in touch with our loving and caring God and recognize the blessings he has bestowed upon us. Amen

The Challenge of Christmas

The Christmas Season is fast and furious and before you can turn around it is over
for another year. The challenge of Christmas is to keep the light of Christ shining
throughout the New Year. While you are busy taking down the decorations and
putting them away until next year remember to keep God’s more precious gift
close to your heart at all times. It is a gift that is meant to be shared and enjoy all
year long. It is a gift that is sure to bring hope, peace, joy and love into the lives of
those who open their hearts and grant the Christ Child a place to dwell. Our main
goal in the coming New Year is not to get in shape, to lose weight or to save more.
Our main goal must be to make room for the Christ Child in our busy lives so that
we can share the Light of Christ to this often dark and lonely world. When we
allow the Light of Christ to shine in and through us, those that get a glimpse of
that Light will be exposed to the presence of God. So throughout the Season of
Epiphany and the rest of the year let’s become aware and alive with the Spirit of
Christmas and share the love that God offers to all people. May this New Year find
us focused first and foremost on our relationship with Christ our Lord and Savior.
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GOD’S BLESSINGS IN 2019.
Peace
Pastor David

Advent

david's pic

Pastor David Krueger

As we move through the Advent Season, let us prepare our hearts for the celebration and joy that the Christ Child brought into the world. May our thoughts turn from shopping and gift wrapping to God’s Word that reveals the true meaning of Christmas and discover God’s plan for our salvation. In his Word we discover the depth of His love and the gift that is offered to all people. This Advent Season pause and reflect on the Cross of Christ and discover the gift of eternal life that was given to the world through the babe in the manger. Yes, we will be singing “Joy to the World”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Silent Night”, and a host of other favorite Christmas carols that stir the depths of our souls. Along with the singing, may this Advent and Christmas Season find your family enjoying time together while journeying through the scriptures discovering God’s gift to you and yours, His one and only Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

david andn treila

From Treila and myself, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”

to our dear church family at Zion UCC

 

 

“Thank You God”

From the Pastor’s Desk:

This month we will be celebrating what has probably become our most forgotten

National Holiday. Squeezed between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving Day,

often gets lost in the commercialism of Christmas and Halloween. Thanksgiving

the one day we set aside to say “Thank You – God” for the blessings we have

received and continue to receive here in America. “Thank You God” for the food

that fills our tables and the time we have to share with family and friends.

Thanksgiving Day has become a day for Football and Pre-Christmas Sales. What

have we done to this day of remembrance? What does that tell us about our

ungrateful nation and its people? I’m afraid that we as a nation, blessed above all

others, have come to take our blessings for granted. No longer do we celebrate

the food on our tables as gifts from God. No longer to we celebrate family, friends

and neighbors as your children. Too many times we fail to look at people of

​different ethical backgrounds as equals that are entitled to the blessings that we

enjoy. Help us O Lord, to remember your call to love one another regardless of the

obvious social and ethical differences and to see the heart in which you dwell.

Galatians 3:28 tells us: “ There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,

nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

May this Thanksgiving Day find you surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors giving

thanks to our Creator God for the gifts of individuality? May we never forget to

give God the thanks and praise due his Holy name.

Peace

Pastor David

1132 Country Club Rd. Metropolis, IL 62960