A Humble Servant
The King of Kings humbled himself and was born to a poor Jewish family in Bethlehem of Judea. Imagine this the creator of the universe came down from heaven as an infant and was totally dependent on Mary and Joseph for his care. God the Son created man and now the descendants of Adam cared for the creator.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (AV)
The world then and now recognizes kings and celebrities and “worships them” A king is born with a gold spoon in his mouth and is given the best and finest for his life. A palace to live in; fine clothes and food, an education. If the king is just his subjects will prosper if not they will despair.
Our King of Kings was born in a relative’s house in Bethlehem because Mary and Joseph had to go there for the census. They were put in the lower level where animals were protected at night since all the rooms had relatives in them due to the census. After his birth Jesus was laid in a feed trough used for animals. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes like a newborn lamb was.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; (AV)
Other than the immediate family, that most certainly visited the newborn, the first outside visitors to see the newborn babe were the shepherds that the angels had told of the birth.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (AV)
Shepherds were poor outcast members of that society in those days. The shepherds visited and wondered at the birth of the promised Messiah and they witnessed what Scripture has promised!
Earthly kings then or now wouldn’t dream of such an introduction into the world. Our Savior’s first coming was as a servant to his creation. He humbled himself in birth, he humbled himself to wash the feet of those he served and he humbled himself on a cross 33 years later to take your sins and my sins upon himself so we could have everlasting life if only we believe in him. Believe in Jesus our King and you will prosper in your daily walk with him and will have the reward of everlasting life.
May God Bless you,
We continue our monthly collection of items for our local food pantry. For the month of July, we are collecting Ramen noodles. Upcoming collections will be: August: pudding cups; September: instant potatoes; October: instant pudding mix and November: personal care products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant. You may bring the items any Sunday morning during our worship service. We thank you in advance.
School has been out for almost two months and the Backpack program is on hold until school resumes. During summer we have been involved in a similar program which packs food items to be given to children who are participating in the Jersey Shore Summer Recreation Program. The summer rec program offers kids a place to go during the summer to learn, play and participate in fun activities.
It will soon be time to embark on our annual trip to Mission Central in Mechanicsburg, PA. This day of service is scheduled for July 19th. We look forward to this trip every year and are blessed to take part in assembling various kits such as health kits, school kits and birthing kits that will be used all over the world.
Our next Blood Drive will take place on August 2nd in our social hall. We feel blessed that we can partner with the American Red Cross in helping with such a worthwhile cause. Please consider donating blood and do your part in helping to save lives.
Vacation Bible School this year will be the week of August 19th – 24th from 6:00pm – 8:30pm. This year’s theme will be “Time Lab – discovering Jesus from eternity past to eternity future”. We are excited to offer this Biblically based VBS from Answers in Genesis. To learn more and to pre-register, please check out this link: https://phelpschapel.myanswers.com/time-labvbs/
You are invited to our new worship service which we have been holding on Thursday evenings at 6:30pm. This service is led by the lay leaders of our church and has a more contemporary feel. Please come and join us some Thursday evening as we worship the One True God.
We said goodbye to Pastor Cody Phillips and his wife Sara with a luncheon in June. We wish them the very best in their new endeavor with their new church family.
On July 1st we welcomed Pastor Larry Siikanen and his wife Sharon into our church family. Phelps Chapel is now part of a two part charge with First United Methodist Church also of Jersey Shore. This collective charge is now known as the “Tiadaghton Charge”. Because of this change, our Sunday morning worship service is now held at 9:00am. On July 29th we will officially welcome Pastor Larry with a brunch in our social hall. The worship service on that day will also be held in the social hall.
The Harvest Festival
The first national Thanksgiving proclamation was made by the Continental Congress on December 18, 1777. On October 3, 1789 President George Washington, after receiving a request of Congress, declared a day of “thanks-giving and prayer” to be held on Thursday November 26, 1789. These proclamations did not create a “holiday” like we celebrate today with a day off from work and a turkey dinner. These set aside days were for giving thanks and praying to our Creator who provides our bounty.
While there are competing claims for the first Thanksgiving in the Americas we will briefly describe the “first” Thanksgiving held by the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony in the fall of 1621. The Pilgrims came to the shores of New England in 1620 to escape religious persecution in their homeland. Many died on the Mayflower during the voyage and more died during that first winter. The Pilgrims were familiar with celebrations in England for Christmas, Easter and harvest festivals but separated themselves from these because of the pagan influences that had found their way into these observances.
So in the fall of 1621, as a celebration of the harvest, the Pilgrims over three days feasted and had recreations. There were 53 Pilgrims in attendance and 90 Wampanoag Indians from a nearby village, including their leader Massasoit. The food served at this celebration consisted of venison and fowl. No other mention is made of the foods served. Today the only account of this harvest celebration is from William Bradford’s journal “Of Plymouth Plantation” and an account by Edward Winslow titled “Mourt’s Relations.“
Our traditions of turkey and all the fixin’s was later established through the efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, who was the editor of a magazine called “Godey’s Lady’s Book.” After reading the accounts of a harvest celebration at Plymouth Colony and a mention of wild turkeys being stored up she wrote of the celebration and created recipes in order to reestablish this celebration. She began a letter writing campaign to a number of Presidents to establish a Thanksgiving Day. On October 3, 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the fourth Thursday of November would be recognized “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” This began the official observance of a day of Thanksgiving for the country.
Scripture is our focus and a harvest festival was established by God and celebrated by the nation Israel during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.
33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 beside the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.
39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord. (AV)
10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 when all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 and that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. (AV)
God’s provision to Israel to celebrate the fall harvest and remember the wandering in the wilderness also extended to the Gentiles referred to as “thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: (Deuteronomy 31:12)
The provision of God’s mercy and example is to all people as this is the redemptive plan established by the Holy Trinity in eternity past. All scripture tells of this plan and is presented throughout the Old Testament as types and shadows of the coming Savior and is fully revealed in the New Testament when our Savior walked among us.
Jesus observed the feasts and during the Feast of Tabernacles at the Temple in Jerusalem:
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (AV)
What greater celebration can we be a part of other than the fruits of God’s harvest of those who have accepted the free gift of everlasting life by believing in God’s son?
Today we at Phelps Chapel pray that you can spend this national “Day of Thanksgiving” with family and friends and remember that this holiday has as its roots a feast of the Bible to recognize our need for a Savior and who provides our daily bread.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving,
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