It’s exciting to know that at sunset we’ll enter into the Fall Holy Day Season. Tomorrow, we have the privilege to come present ourselves before our God and observe the Feast of Trumpets, on September 25th, the Day of Atonement, and from September 30th to October 7th, we’ll observe the Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day (Last Great Day).
For the people of God, there is indeed a great anticipation and appreciation for what these special appointments picture. Along with the Spring Holy Days, they reveal God’s incredible Plan of Salvation, the hope not only for the first fruits, but for all mankind. They paint a vivid picture of what our faithful God has promised and will fulfill. Which brings us a great deal of joy each time we observe them. That’s why we cry out “Thy Kingdom Come!” We not only have hope in what they represent, we have an earnest expectation of that moment when all these things will be fulfilled.
Until then, we patiently wait, we engage with our entire heart, mind, and soul, to observe and keep these days as a wonderful reminder that “The Best is Still Yet To come”. As we do, we learn, we grow in understanding as God reveals more and more of His wonderful plan.
As we prepare during these final moments to keep these upcoming Feasts, I want to share with you something I was reminded of this week. I found it very inspiring, especially when considering the creative and compassionate hand of our God. The God who loves us and is revealing so much for those who have the eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand.
In his introductory statement of ‘The Two Babylons’, Alexander Hislop writes, “There is this great difference between the works of men and the works of God, that the same minute and searching investigation, which displays the defects and imperfections of the one, brings out also the beauties of the other. If the most finely polished needle on which the art of man has been expended be subjected to a microscope, many inequalities, much roughness and clumsiness, will be seen.
But if the microscope be brought to bear on the flowers of the field, no such result appears. Instead of their beauty diminishing, new beauties and still more delicate, that have escaped the naked eye, are forthwith discovered; beauties that make us appreciate, in a way which otherwise we could have had little conception of, the full force of the Lord's saying, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these."
The same law appears also in comparing the Word of God and the most finished productions of men. There are spots and blemishes in the most admired productions of human genius. But the more the Scriptures are searched, the more minutely they are studied, the more their perfection appears; new beauties are brought into light every day; and the discoveries of science, the researches of the learned, and the labors of infidels, all alike conspire to illustrate the wonderful harmony of all the parts, and the Divine beauty that clothes the whole.”
I ask us all to meditate on this as we approach these next Holy Days. If we view these days and approach them by our ways, for our personal enjoyment, our take away will be flawed, what God desires for us to grasp will escape us. However, when we approach His Feasts and view them as God commands, what our eyes will see, what our ears will hear, what our hearts will be filled with - will be a flawless beauty, a beauty that keep revealing more beauty. A beauty that brings even more appreciation of what our God has done, is doing, and will do.
If one is to truly enjoy an artist’s work, they must take it in from his point of view. If we are to truly enjoy the artistic work of the Greatest Artist, let us never forget to take it in from His point of view. When we allow God’s spirit to help us look deeper, we will be left breathless, standing in awe, and desiring to glorify our God for the marvelous work He has created, a work that reveals our incredible destiny.
May God Bless us all with an invigorating and spiritually enriching Fall Festival season,
For the Youth - Bible Trivia:
1. What did Jacob send his sons to buy in the land of Egypt?
*Hint: Genesis 42:1-3
2. Who cut of the ear of Malchus?
*Hint: John 18:1-13
3. Who asked the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper”?
* Hint: Genesis 4:1-10
North Canton Announcements:
- Sabbath Service Time: (September 16th): Feast of Trumpets
(Combined with Youngstown & Cleveland)
Service Times: Morning Services 10:30 AM & Afternoon Services 2:00 PM
(Offering will be collected) Location: Shady Hollow Country Club 4865 Wales Rd. NW Massillon, Ohio 44646 - For those who have signed up, A catered meal is being offered between services at the facility. Note: No outside food beside the desserts is permitted in the facility.
- Next Sabbath: (September 23rd): 2:00 PM
- Marlene Ware: The surgeon was able to successfully removed the mass from her breast (about a quarter size) along with a lesion they found in the same area. They feel it will test as cancerous but they won't know for about 7-10 days. The doctors also reported that there are still concerned about the spots around her lungs that showed up on an earlier cat scan. They are going to schedule a pet scan in order to help diagnose what those spots are. Once they know what they are dealing with, they will come up with the best treatment plan for Marlene’s situation. Marlene is still experiencing a great deal of pain, your prayers for Marlene’s comfort and full recovery are greatly appreciated. We also ask that you keep her in your prayers concerning the spots on her lungs.
- Atonement: Monday, September 25, 2023 - Service Time: 2:00 PM (Offering will be Collected)
Location: Gateway Conference Center - 5441 Global Gateway North Canton, OH 44320
- Feast of Tabernacles: Saturday 30, 2023 – Friday October 6, 2023 – No Local Services
- 8th Day/Last Great Day: Saturday, October 7, 2023 - No Local Services
- Holy Day Offering Envelopes: Home office is asking the members to please use the pre-addressed green envelopes that were mailed to you earlier this summer. If you did not receive your envelopes or will need to use a blank Holy Day offering envelope, please write your Beyond Today number (begins with a “U”) in the boxes provided just below your name and address. Additionally, if you write a check, please make it payable to “UNITED CHURCH OF GOD, an International Association”, “UNITED CHURCH OF GOD”, or “UCGIA.” Doing so saves much processing time for the home office staff.
- UCG-Portsmouth’s Dinner Dance, An Evening Night Under the Sea. Plan to join us for UCG Portsmouth’s annual formal dinner dance this year on Saturday, November 11th.
We’re excited to be able to once again host this event and see everyone come together for a fun evening! This year’s schedule will follow the format: Church services @ 2:30-4:30 - Dinner @ 6:00-7:00 - Dance @ 7:30-10:30.
Church service location: Clark Memorial Library - Shawnee State University 940 2nd Street
Portsmouth, Ohio 45662 Dance location: Shawnee State University Ballroom 940 2nd Street Portsmouth, Ohio 45662 (Ballroom is located on the second floor of the university’s Student Success Center.) Prices for the dinner are: $15 for ages 12 and up, $9 for ages 6-11 and Free for 5 and under. For Payment and or Questions? See our Facebook events page -https://www.facebook.com/events/773839194492476 or Reach out to Monica at 740-821-6441 ; email@example.com or Ashleigh at 740-876-3053 with any questions. Please note: We have an attendance cap at 240 so please register ASAP.
If I’ve overlooked anything, Please let me know ASAP.