Daily Devotions for Friday, December 25, 2020

Good Morning Watsontown United Methodist Family,

Today’s Daily Devotions will be a “Lead Yourself” devotion.

Theme: The Word Became Flesh

In Your unbounded love You have shown us Your face and made Your way known among all the nations. May we recognize in Your decision to become one flesh with us an invitation to live gratefully with others as one family, gathered and held together in Your holy name. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Psalm: Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Song: O Come O Come Emmanuel

Reading: John 3:1-3, 7-12

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

Reflection

What “new” insight did you gain from today’s text ? How might you be able to apply today’s reading to your day today? Who would you like to share today’s reading with?

Closing Prayer

May the God of untrodden ways, who has chosen to live as one of us, guide us and keep us on the road to fullness of life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Daily Devotions for Thursday, December 24, 2020

Good Morning Watsontown United Methodist Family,

Today’s Daily Devotions will be a “Lead Yourself” devotion.

Theme: The Word Became Flesh

In Your unbounded love You have shown us Your face and made Your way known among all the nations. May we recognize in Your decision to become one flesh with us an invitation to live gratefully with others as one family, gathered and held together in Your holy name. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Psalm: Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Song: O Come O Come Emmanuel

Reading: Philippians 2:12-15

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

Reflection

What “new” insight did you gain from today’s text ? How might you be able to apply today’s reading to your day today? Who would you like to share today’s reading with?

Closing Prayer

May the God of untrodden ways, who has chosen to live as one of us, guide us and keep us on the road to fullness of life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

WUMC, Covid-19 and Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Watsontown Family,

As many of us are aware, Covid-19 has impacted our local community in a greater way than we had anticipated. To watch the increase of cases and hear the stories of those directly impacted has been surprising to me. I praise God that our Family of Families has embraced the expression of Love that we have. I know that it is challenging to not gather together during a time of celebration like Christmas. Please be encouraged to know that God is will us, Emanuel.

More than ever, we need to focus on the truth of God’s word. John recorded Jesus saying, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46) What an amazing reality for us to focus on. As followers of Jesus, we too get to bring a light into the world of our neighborhoods and work places. Finding new and different ways to share the Light of the Messiah allows us to love in new and exciting ways.

This year as we look forward to Christmas, we will be celebrating Christmas Eve in a new and exciting way. Our Christmas Eve service will be an On-Line service, on Facebook and YouTube, at 7 p.m. Following the service at about 8:15 we will be gathering in our parking lot to continue the celebration as we light candles together. You are welcome to bring your own candle or use one that we have here. Both the wax and wick candles and LED candles are welcome to be used.

I am looking forward to us gathering together On-Line at 7 and in our parking lot starting about 8:15.

Again, we celebrate our opportunity to Worship Together online and strongly encourage everyone to join together there.

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC
(717) 202-7769

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

Daily Devotions for Friday, December 18, 2020

Good Morning Watsontown United Methodist Family,

Today’s Daily Devotions will be a “Lead Yourself” devotion.

Theme: Welcome the Stranger

Holy God, your ways are strange to us, and the language of radical love you speak is unfamiliar to our ears. Help us to welcome your presence among us and to receive your word as the finest food for nourishing a generous spirit within us. In the name of Jesus, Amen..

Psalm: Psalm 81

Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre. Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph. I heard an unknown voice say: “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Song: Joy to the World

Reading: Luke 9:51-58

Samaritan Opposition
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Reflection

What “new” insight did you gain from today’s text ? How might you be able to apply today’s reading to your day today? Who would you like to share today’s reading with?

Closing Prayer

May the God who became a stranger so that we could become friends with God and one another transform our wary hearts into welcoming ones. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Daily Devotions for Thursday, December 17, 2020

Good Morning Watsontown United Methodist Family,

Today’s Daily Devotions will be a “Lead Yourself” devotion.

Theme: Welcome the Stranger

Holy God, your ways are strange to us, and the language of radical love you speak is unfamiliar to our ears. Help us to welcome your presence among us and to receive your word as the finest food for nourishing a generous spirit within us. In the name of Jesus, Amen..

Psalm: Psalm 81

Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre. Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph. I heard an unknown voice say: “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Song: Joy to the World

Reading: Jeremiah 7:1-7

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: “ ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever..

Reflection

What “new” insight did you gain from today’s text ? How might you be able to apply today’s reading to your day today? Who would you like to share today’s reading with?

Closing Prayer

May the God who became a stranger so that we could become friends with God and one another transform our wary hearts into welcoming ones. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Daily Devotions for Friday, December 4, 2020

Good Morning Watsontown United Methodist Family,

Today’s Daily Devotions will be a “Lead Yourself” devotion.

Theme: Active Waiting

You brought all things into being and know the secrets of the furthest galaxies as well as those within the hidden universe of the human heart. May we always hope in your faithful love, which surrounds us all our days. In Jesus name. Amen.

Psalm: Psalm 33

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars ; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Song: Lord Reign In Me

Reading: Romans 8:19-29

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Reflection

What “new” insight did you gain from today’s text ? How might you be able to apply today’s reading to your day today? Who would you like to share today’s reading with?

Closing Prayer

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in faith so that we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

WUMC and COVID-19 Special Announcement, December 3, 2020


Hello Watsontown Family,

On Monday, November 30, 2020, Bishop Park and the full cabinet sent out a letter strongly urging all congregations to not have in person gatherings or worship. Our leadership team met on Wednesday, December 2 2020 to spend time in God’s word, time in prayer and time to talk through how we as Watsontown United Methodist want to walk through this unique and challenging time.

I suspect that many of us have become rather frustrated with COVID-19. I know that I have. As I spent time in conversation with our God and King, I was drawn to Psalm 13.

Psalm 13 (New International Version)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 4and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.

When I read these words, I hear a lot of emotions in David, frustration, disappointment and weariness. Emotions that we have experienced. David shares very openly with God how he feels, yet he remembers the truth about who God is and what God has done. David praises God!

I praise God for all of you, for our Bishop and our District Superintendent. I am thankful to be a part of the leadership team we have here at WUMC. We have been very blessed to have the ability and team members to have our live stream worship services.

The leadership team agrees with our Bishop’s concern regarding the increase of COVID. We strongly encourage everyone to Worship Together online. We would like to ask that you touch base with your friends and family members and invite them to join with you while we Worship Together online. We are also fully aware that, for some, there is the need to be able to be in the House of God to worship. The main doors to our facility will be unlocked during our time of Worshiping Together. We ask that if you do choose to come in that you show your love for one another by wearing a mask and distancing yourself from others. If this is your need, please try to come in as close to start of the service at 9:30 as possible.

During this time, we will also be suspending our Midweek Recharge. The leadership team has also decided to wait and see how things go over the next few weeks to decide on what Christmas Eve will look like. We will update you the week leading up to Christmas Eve on any changes that need to take place. Please continue praying for one another and our community.

Chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that we are to Imitate Christ and to put others before ourselves.

Philippians 2:1-4 (New International Version)
1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

We are living in a time where we have a great opportunity to live out this charge from Paul. Let each of us look to see how we can put the interests of others before our own. May we celebrate together how we see God at work in our lives. Together, we can share the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace that we have in Christ.

Again, we celebrate our opportunity to Worship Together online and strongly encourage everyone join together there.

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

Christmas Eve Worship Service Reservations

Please click on the time that you would like to reserve seats for below. Please remember that all three services will follow the same order of worship.  When you register, please register for each individual seat you and your family would like using the same name. For example a family of 4 will have 4 different entries all listed as “Family A.” This will help us ensure we are able to set up the right combination of seats. Please note that the seat number is not a position

4 p.m. 7 p.m. 10 p.m.

Daily Devotions for Saturday, November 28, 2020

Good Morning Watsontown United Methodist Family,

Today’s Daily Devotions will be a “Lead Yourself” devotion.

Theme: Active Waiting

You offer us a refuge amidst the trials of life. May our waiting prepare us to see glimpses of Your face, even as we long for the full appearance of Your goodness throughout all the earth. In Jesus name. Amen.

Psalm: Psalm 27

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Song: Raise a Hallelujah

Reading: 2 Peter 3:8-13

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

Reflection

What “new” insight did you gain from today’s text ? How might you be able to apply today’s reading to your day today? Who would you like to share today’s reading with?

Closing Prayer

May the goodness and loving-kindness of our God sustain us in our longing, and transform the desert of our waiting into a garden of fertile expectation. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen..