Worship for Sunday March 10

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Fourth Sunday of Lent. The theme is Condemnation. Remember that there is no condemnation for all who believe in Jesus. For Jesus came into this world to save it. Remember that Jesus loves you and the whole world!

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church).

  • Council meeting on Tuesday, March 12 at 6pm.
  • Wednesday Lenten Program March 13 at 6:30pm. The study will be The Grace of Les Misérables by Matt Rawle. Snacks will be served.
  • Youth to Sky Zone in March. Talk to Carol Nowack for more information.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Potluck on Sunday, March 17 after church.
  • New Members’ Sunday on Palm Sunday, March 24
  • The Dorcas would like to expand their membership to include more people (maybe both men and women) for social and service activities. Please see a Dorcas member about joining their wonderful group.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong


Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9 • Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 • Ephesians 2:1-10 • John 3:14-21

Sermon: Condemnation

When I think about the word condemned the image that comes to mind is that of a dilapidated building with a giant condemned sticker slapped on to the front by a city housing inspector. Due to lack of maintenance, fire, or natural disaster a home, factory, office building, or even a church may be in such a state of disrepair that for the safety of the community the building must be condemned. Condemned buildings make me sad.

When I see a condemned building, I wonder about what it was like when it was new. What plans or dreams did the builders have for the home, office, factory, or church? Did children once run in and out of the house with joy? What promises of employment did the factory or office offer to people in the community? Who worshipped God with love, hope, and faith in this old church?

No one sets out to build a building that will be condemned. God did not create the world to condemn it. God did not create us for condemnation. God created the world for the pleasure of God. God created us to be in loving relationship with the world and with God. But somewhere along the line things fell apart in this world. People keep making choices that lead to lives that feel condemned. So, God sent Jesus to save the world.

The passage from John 3:14-21 is part of a conversation that Jesus has with Nicodemus. Nicodemus comes at night to speak with Jesus, and they have a very personal one on one conversation. During this conversation Jesus refers to the troubling story in Numbers about the snakes that were biting the Hebrews in the desert. God had sent the snakes because the people kept sinning and complaining about Moses and God. Snake bites were often fatal. The people cried out to God that they were sorry for their behavior. The people repented and returned to God. God did not take away the snakes, but God did offer a cure. Make a bronze serpent and put it on a stick to be raised up. Victims of snake bite were to look at the bronze serpent and live. Jesus says that those who look to Jesus raised upon the cross and believe will have eternal life.

Human beings tend to fall into states of disrepair physically, spiritually, and morally. We often make poor choices. We do things that harm ourselves and others. We forget to worship God and to walk in God’s ways. We fail to care for God’s creation. We sometimes step on snakes that bite us and cause us harm.

We often wonder why terrible things happen to us and others. We wonder why seemingly bad people prosper, while good people struggle. The world is often a confusing place, but one thing is true God loves the world. Sometimes we need to be reminded of this truth. Perhaps that is why John 3:16 is a favorite verse of so many, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” NRSVUE

That verse should read with the following verse, “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17 NRSVUE God does not plan for us to live with a condemned sign pasted upon our lives. God sent Jesus into the world to save the world from condemnation. Jesus came so that we would have light, love and life.

We need to turn our eyes to Jesus. Let us allow the love of Jesus to repair our lives and soul. With the love of Jesus empowering us let us share that love with the world. Let us care for God’s creation as God instructed us to do. May we look to Jesus so that we and the world may truly live.


Prayer: May I turn my eyes to look upon Jesus’ love and redemption. May I let go of a life of condemnation to live a life of faith remembering that Jesus came to save the world because God loves us. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’ s brother Billy, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Tammy. Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s great granddaughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra, Liz’s father, Dannie, Lathe, Marilyn, Kris, Lee Ann, Bob, Diane, Linda, Keetha, Carly, Mia (Good news, she is healing.), Brenda, David, Dave, Jeff, Bill & Kathleen, Bill with cancer, a student with a court date, Nancy and Pat, Son-in-law of friends for Diann K. who was in places where there is war. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.