9:00 & 10:30am Festival Worship (see video below) with choirs and organ (Communion the first Sunday of the month).
We are a welcoming, multi-generational church with a passion for learning, growing, and serving others. You’ll find people wearing a wide range of attire from shorts or jeans to suits. Come as you are – you’re welcome at Dayspring!
“To a Maid Engaged to Joseph” United Methodist Hymnal - #215
“So be it; I am ready according to your word.”
I have never been visited by an angel. At least not one that I was aware of. Yet in the Christmas story, it seems that people are having visits from angels all the time! How would one know? In Renaissance paintings angels usually have flowing white gowns and big wings (except for Botticelli’s The Mystical Nativity, where the angels are dressed in white, brown, and pink, and always look more like Neapolitan ice cream - but I digress). But what if they looked just like us? Who could forget Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life? Except for some outdated clothes, he looked pretty much like everyone else. And my personal favorite, Dudley in The Bishop’s Wife. Cary Grant looked just like . . . well, Cary Grant. The Hallmark Channels have angels everywhere, and there’s no way to tell them from anyone else. So how do we know that we have not been visited by angels? And for that matter, what really qualifies someone as an angel? With a small change of my understanding of what an angel actually is, I can guarantee that I have been visited by any number of angels. From the doctor who discovered my heart murmur, to the person who introduced me to my wife, to the people who just wouldn’t give up on me, to the person who loved me when I was at my most unlovable. The search for angels in our midst is not that different than the vision of Christ in someone else’s face, or the God sightings we have in the most mundane experiences. Be aware!!!
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. HEBREWS 13:2
Gracious and loving God, open our eyes to your presence. Let us not look beyond those we encounter, but rather into the souls of your children, our brothers and sisters. You do not deny your children. We, therefore, should be loving and accepting, opening our arms as well. As we love you, and you have loved us, guide us to show that same love to all your children. Amen.
“It Came upon the Midnight Clear” United Methodist Hymnal - #218
. . . when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling
Once upon a time, a friend who was visiting worship dared me to see how many alternate harmonies I could cram into one hymn. It was Advent, so I chose It Came upon a Midnight Clear. It was awesome. It’s no wonder that it is a favorite of jazz musicians. Probably the finely crafted melody enables that kind of variation. But the most interesting part of this carol is in the cyclical nature of the lyric. We hear of the angels, pronouncing the birth of Jesus. But that is followed by a plea to stop, and take a minute to again contemplate the angels’ song. Finally, the prophesy that peace will prevail, and the whole world will declare “Peace on Earth” back to the angels. Well . . . we don’t seem all that close to real peace on earth. In Seminary, I clung to the belief that all people were capable of good, and that there could actually be a time when peace could prevail. Not to seem overly negative, but it seems less likely now than ever. What are the roadblocks to real and lasting peace? Fear? Distrust? The desire to rise by bringing down someone else? The thought of a world without conflict is perhaps an unrealistic dream. But I prefer to think that each one of us can do our part to bring about that peace. Opening our hearts to those who think, look and perhaps act differently than we do is a good place to start. And if you want to offer a prayer for that peace, it’s easy. Just read the Peace Pole at our campus entrance. “May peace prevail on earth.”
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. ISAIAH 9: 7
God of peace, we pray for peace on earth, yet are constantly reminded that it is an unlikely reality. As St. Francis said, make us instruments of your peace. Allow us to put aside petty differences that divide us, and instead, sow seeds of peace and unity in our families, our workplaces, our communities and our world. We acknowledge that it is your will, now and always. Amen.