First United Methodist Church
of Gadsden

Changing Lives By
Sharing Christ, Making Disciples,
Serving People and Giving Hope

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This Sunday at Gadsden First UMC...


1-20-19         Sermon Notes 

“I Have a Dream: A Church That Shows Extravagant Hospitality”

There is a quote that I like that goes like this: “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Who said that?  Well, depending on who you ask, it was either Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), or American journalist Pauline Phillips.  Whichever one said it first, they probably got the idea from St. Augustine, who said, “The church is not a hotel for saints. It is a hospital for sinners.”  Same idea – different wording.


Being the “word nerd” that I am, I started wondering about the etymology of the word, “hospital.”  What I found was very interesting.  The word “hospital” comes from the Latin root, hospes, meaning “guest” or “stranger.”  Hmmm…  Know what else comes from that Latin root hospes?  Words like “hospice,” “hostel,” and “hospitality.”  If you look in Webster’s Dictionary, you will find that hospitality is defined as “the practice of being friendly toward guests.” 

Hospitality stands out prominently in the passage for this coming Sunday.

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Peter 4: 7-11  NRSV)

This coming Sunday, I will continue my series, “I Have a Dream.”  We will focus on hospitality.  Why hospitality?  Other than the fact that the Bible tells us to be hospitable in 1 Peter 4: 9 and in other passages (Heb. 13: 2, Rom. 12: 13, Matt. 25: 34-46, Titus 1: 8),  I believe it was one of the great defining characteristics of Jesus.  It drove the Pharisees and scribes nuts that Jesus was so welcoming! (Luke 15: 2) 

I saw a sign in an office one time that read, “People may forget what you do, and they may forget what you say; but they will never forget how you make them feel.”  Jesus made even the tax collectors feel welcome.  Jesus practiced hospitality.  My dream is that our church practices hospitality, too.

You are “welcome” to join us Sunday and hear more about (and hopefully experience) extravagant hospitality!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Sam


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                                Changing Lives by

Sharing Christ, Making Disciples, Serving People and Giving Hope

Thursday Worship:

5:30 PM, Sancutary


8:45 AM:  "Celebration" Worship, Contemporary Style Worship --Gym.

10:00 AM: Sunday School and Small Groups- Education Building

10:55 AM:  "Traditions", Traditional Worship --Sanctuary

Wonderful Wednesday Dinner and Small Groups

5:15 pm Dinner

6:00 PM Journey Groups and Activities for Adults, Youth and Children

Nursery available on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.


You Are Welcome Here!

Thursday Worship: 5:30 PM

 8:45 AM, Celebration, Gym
10:00 AM Sunday Shhool
10:55 AM--Traditions, Sanctuary

Wonderful Wednesday

Dinner: 5:15 PM
$5 Adults, $2 Children

Journey Groups
Resume January 9, 6:00 pm


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