Jesus loves you
and we want to get to know you.
Welcome, and thank you for visiting Waltz United Methodist Church online, or in gathered worship. We hope that our website highlights the worship, fellowship, and service opportunities available.
We worship in a traditional style, in traditional hymns, and preaching from the Bible.
Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come in for a visit. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.
Our mission is to be fully devoted to Jesus by opening our arms to those in search of the truth. All are welcome.
We show God’s love and concern for our fellow man at every opportunity. Through works of charity and opening our doors to listen and love, we feel that we are walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
Our traditional Worship Service begins at 9:30 AM.
If you haven't visited us yet, know that you will be a stranger for only about 2 minutes - after that you're family. All are welcome!
We celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month.
We will soon begin outdoor worship as weather permits. It's a wonderful setting.
Contact us: 7465 Egypt Rd
Phone: (330) 722-1015
Pastor Les is continuing his regular office time, on Wednesdays 9-12 AM, You may call his cell phone to make an appointment if you have a special need
Altar Cross at our outdoor Worship Service
(Thanks for the photo, Eric)
Monday June 27 10:15 AM Bible Study
Monday July 4 No Bible Study Independence Day
Wednesday July 6 10:00 AM Prayer Shawl Ministry
Saturday July 9 8:15 AM Fellowship Breakfast
Hungry Bear Restaurant in Litchfield
Monday July 11 10:15 AM Bible Study
Wednesday July 13 11:30 AM Ladies Aid
Monday July 18 10:15 AM Bible Study
Wednesday July 20 10:00 AM Prayer Shawl Ministry
10:00 AM Trustees Meeting
Monday July 25 10:15 AM Bible Study
Sunday July 31 After Worship Pot Luck Luncheon
We welcome Ed Gugliucci to our membership as a transfer from Brecksville UMC with a gift of a Prayer Shawl made by our Prayer Shawl Ministry knitters,
Special Prayer Needs:
Chuck Anderson's sister, Debbie, now lives at Sanctuary Senior Care Facility.
Beth Norton's mother-in-law, Pat, being treated for cancer.
The family of Catherine Roots who passed away earlier this week.
Pastor's Corner: I will be publishing the weekly Sermon Notes here that correspond to the Sunday Sermon available on our Facebook page (Waltzumc Church) or on YouTube.
For June 26, 2022
Sermon Notes: Do You Even Want To Be Healed?
Intro: Change. It’s human nature to resist change. Even in physics, Newton’s first law of motion states a body will remain in motion, unchanged, until a force acts to change its direction or change its speed. Forces like gravity and wind. As humans, we tend to resist change, until some force makes us uncomfortable enough to at least consider change. The world around us is constantly changing. We may try to resist change, but find it less painful, even beneficial to adapt to changes. We may resist the coming of winter by refusing to wear warmer clothing, but such resistance will be uncomfortable and futile, maybe even fatal. There comes a time when we should surrender our resistance to change when our status quo is seen to be harmful. When change offers a better alternative.
I. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A. Our OT reading was put to music by The Byrds in1959. You may have even hummed the words while Kevin read them. But many theologians feel King Solomon wrote these words to impart wisdom for adapting, or responding to life’s circumstances. That there is a season, an appropriate time for certain responses to life. A time to be silent/a time to speak out, a time to hate/a time to love, a time for war/a time for peace. A time to dance/a time to mourn, a time to laugh/a time to cry. A time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Since God has made everything beautiful in its time, resisting those times may find ourselves out of synch with the beauty of God’s intentions for us.
B. These words seem to be saying life isn’t a constant, or as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited for, “The only constant is change.” The word season is appropriate to describe beauty God created in nature and life’s changing circumstances. Death of a loved one can cause pain and need for a time of grieving. We also need a time of healing laughter to restore health. The birth of a child brings joy, a time to see new life, as well as death to understand life, to recognize the full spectrum of reality in life God created for us. We need God help us see/adapt to changes He knows we need. Resisting may only cause us unnecessary pain when we go against these seasons. We need to be willing to change to find beauty in God’s plans.
C. There’s also a time to remain unchanged. When change doesn’t offer solutions, only greater problems. When change would conflict with God’s intentions. When we need an anchor to steady us in life’s dangerous storms. But knowing when to change/not to change is when we need to look to God for answers, letting the Holy Spirit guide us. Like the Serenity prayer, God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
D. So, while we are naturally resistant to change, we cannot be unwilling to change when the time calls for change. We can’t get too comfortable with where we are, what we have and what we’re doing, because things just might change. In the words of Dutch evangelist, Corrie ten Boom, “Hold everything in your hands lightly; otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
II. John 5: 1-11
A. We’ve been talking the past few weeks about fixing real problem in our world. Spiritual healing. Why doesn’t God just heal us? Why isn’t God responding? In our NT lesson, Jesus has an interesting encounter with man who needed physical healing in his life, and is surprised by Jesus’ response, which my may provide insights into spiritual healing as well. The man had been paralyzed for 38 years, and was laying by pool of Bethesda, where it was believed that if you had a disability and entered the pool while an angel stirred the waters, you would be healed. Jesus seems to single out this particular man from the other people there hoping for healing and confronts him with a strange question, “Do you want to be healed?” You’d think the man’s answer would be an emphatic YES! But the man, not knowing who Jesus was, only offers excuses. ‘I can’t get to the pool in time, someone always gets in my way’. We don’t know how long he’d been there, or how close to the pool he'd stayed. Jesus’ question makes us wonder if the man really wanted to be healed. Once healed, he’d have to take responsibility for his own life. Finding work, making decisions, not being able to blame his situation on his disability. Jesus’ questioning his wanting to be healed might even be alluding to his willingness to change.
B. Jesus confronts each of us with that question as well. The question we should be hearing is “Are you willing to change in order to be spiritually healed? We may want to be healed, but are we willing to change? Seems like strange question, but not everyone’s willing to change. Like man by pool, many offer excuses why they don’t even come to church. ‘Too busy, too many hypocrites in the church, Sunday is my day to sleep in.’ Excuses. They may want spiritual healing, but not if means change on their part. They’ve become too comfortable in their lives. And change can be uncomfortable, too risky, too challenging.
C. The news parades need for spiritual healing in our world, fixing the real problem. Drugs, violence, suicides, injustices, hatred. Protestors clamor for change. Politicians make promises. But we, the Church, need to be asking Jesus’s question to them, “Do you want healing?”
D. I see the man by pool in many people today. They may appear normal, but their lives are sick, their souls not well. They’re paralyzed in heart and mind. Their lives are dysfunctional, they need healing, but seem unwilling to change. I know a woman who was abused by her husband and asked for help. But she couldn’t meet a critical appointment set up for her because it conflicted with her bowling time. People like that have learned to live like that. They don’t know, or don’t want to know, there’s something more to life. They’ve become satisfied with merely existing. They’re not really seeking God’s help, or calling out to Him if it means change. They’re sick and aren’t aware of it. It seems normal to them. Or they only want easy answers that don’t involve a change on their part.
E. Twelve step healing programs depend on an individual first willing to admit they’re sick. They have to want to be healed for the program to work. And they must be willing to make the necessary changes in their lives. In the same way, anyone who comes to Jesus for healing of their souls, must first be willing to admit they are sinners. They must want to be healed, be willing to change, and take responsibility for their actions.
F. It’s strange that while praying for healing, people tend to ask for a change in their situation, but seldom ask for change in their character. The man at the pool may have been doing that with his excuses. He was hoping to find healing in pool waters, but he hadn’t changed his approach to getting to the water. It takes more than a person wishing to be healed. It takes changing inner character to find strength to overcome their circumstances/find true healing. Our partnership with God can provide such strength and inner changes to find healing.
G. A soldier in Army of Alexander the Great, who was also named Alexander, was accused of cowardly actions. He was brought before Alexander, who asked his name. He replied softly, 'Alexander."
'I can't hear you," the ruler stated. The man again said, a little louder, 'Alexander." The process was repeated, after which Alexander the Great commented, 'Either change your name or change your conduct." The soldier was only proving his cowardice by his lack of courage. How could he be returned to duty unless he changed his weak character?
H. Compare this to Horatio Spafford, who lost his four daughters at sea, his wife barely surviving, when the ship they were traveling on collided with another ship and sank in the North Atlantic. He might have blamed God for this tragedy, and let grief take over his life. But he already knew God in his life, had the character and faith to let God heal him so that he could write the song we sang earlier, “It is Well With My Soul.”
I. Spiritual healing begins with a sincere willingness to admit our sins, asking God for repentance-based forgiveness, which is changing, and asking to overcome further temptation. God becomes a partner in our healing. Perhaps one of most important changes in our lives is when God is working in our lives causing us to recognize our sins, recognize our need to change by repenting of our sins. When we can admit it isn’t well with our soul. But what makes us even want to turn to God? We aren’t born with a direct knowledge of God. Until we become aware of our sinfulness, and begin to take responsibility for our own choices, we will proceed on our path apart from God. We may hear others tell us about Jesus’ forgiveness, our need for forgiveness, but what makes us want to change, and turn to God? Theologians like John Wesley refer to God’s prevenient grace as the force that pursues us, calling us to change, calling us to Himself. We resist change until the force that acts on us, the Holy Spirit, convinces us to change. We won’t do it on our own. He doesn’t force change but acts to make us want to change.
J. As we continue in our walk with Christ, we continue process of change, which Paul calls transformation. He tells us in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” We aren’t simply changed, but transformed by His will. Made into something new. Like a caterpillar emerging from its cocoon, transformed into a beautiful butterfly. Paul met Jesus Himself on the Damascus road and chose to change his life. Only then was he transformed into the greatest evangelist in the New Testament. Our walk with Christ should eventually result in our becoming transformed.
K. While we are becoming transformed to his image, undergoing change, we find it assuring that God never changes. In Malachi 3:6, He speaks through the prophet, “For I am the Lord, I do not change;” Jesus refers to Himself as “I Am”, constant and unchanging. Hebrews 3:8 states “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” No matter how great our transformation, we know our hope in Him is unchanging, eternal, forever.
L. Returning to man at the pool, we don’t know why Jesus chose that particular man from the many that were there needing healing, but Jesus first asked him the important question, “Do you want to be healed?” When we ask for spiritual healing, we should start by asking ourselves, ‘Is it well with my soul?’ to recognize our need for healing, then answering His question, “Do you want to be healed?”
M. Unfortunately, many are in denial. “I’m not sick, I don’t need to be healed.” At least this paralyzed man wasn’t in denial. So, when Jesus tells him to pick up his mat and walk, the man, paralyzed for the last 38 years, wanted to be healed. Despite his hopes having been previously fixed on finding healing in the pool, he now simply does what Jesus tells him to. He picks up his mat…and stands….and walks. You would think there would immediately be a line of people also wanting a miracle. But even though all the Jewish leaders saw this miracle, saw Jesus’ power to heal, all they could respond to was that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and that was against the Law. They couldn’t see their own need for spiritual healing, calling instead for Jesus to change His obedience to the Law, rather than seeing their own need to change.
Conclusion: Well, how is it with your soul? Be careful you don’t answer that question too quickly. Sin can sneak up on us, and we may not see our need for healing. We may convince ourselves we don’t need any change, and we’re denying the reality of those little sins becoming bigger sins. But sin is sin, whether big or small. We need to stop those little sins from becoming bigger sins by confessing them and wanting Him to heal even those small wounds. Do you want to be healed? Let Him revive us again. Amen.