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Summary: In our Scripture today, we see an example of what happens when a person’s heart is captured by the Light of the World. From this woman, we learn several things about sacrifice and giving

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Break a Jar

Mark 14: 1-9

We’re starting a new series called, “Illuminate.” Our foundational Scripture verse is Revelation 21:23 which says, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." That light has not only been given to us but we are called to reflect that light in our lives as well. For Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” We are called to illuminate the darkness.

There’s a lot of darkness in the world. It’s doesn’t take too long to see it all around us. We’re reminded of it on the nightly news, the front page of the paper, on nola.com and the news tweets we receive each day. There are over 250,000 people on the WestBank and most of them are surrounded by darkness. Over 150,000 people on the WestBank don’t attend a church on Sunday morning. They need the Light of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:10 says, “And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.” We want to illuminate the WestBank with the love of Christ. So we’re in a special season right now focusing on how we can be light and how Gretna UMC can get out the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ and what we have to offer here to the people of the WestBank. We’re seeking to raise funds for a significant marketing campaign to get the Word out but Illuminate is more than a fundraising campaign. The point of Illuminate is not the gift but what happens in your heart when you’re captured by the Light of the World and become light to others. What we need more than your money is your heart. We need your heart to be completely sold out for Jesus and God’s mission of “Connecting diverse communities to a lifestyle devoted to Jesus.” If you are, then you will go into the places of darkness in our community and begin to illuminate it.

Last week, we gave everyone in worship an envelope filled with $10 and asked them to go and bless someone with it. We called it the Bless Back Project and it was a tangible way we could be light by blessing someone unexpectedly. What happens when God’s people get generous? Hearts get changed and lives touched with the light of Christ. In addition, this series, “Illuminate” will conclude with two major events: the first being on September 8 where we’re challenging you to step up and give a revolutionary gift for a marketing and advertising campaign so we can Illuminate the WestBank with the Light of Christ. The second is September 15th as we celebrate Friend Day and Kick off a new sermon series called, “Modern Family.” But the planning and participation for that event begins now as you start to pray for your oikos and others whom you can invite to worship on September 8th.


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