P.O. Box 206 302 South Main Street Gainesboro, Tennessee 38562 (931) 268-4771 Office
Gainesboro First UMC
Monday, December 11, 2017
"A Caring Community of Faith"

Our Pastor


Pastor Tim Dunavant, Josh, Staci, and Mikayla

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
John 1:14
Most of you know that long before I came to the ministry and before I met the Messiah I was a mess. Due to my own reckless decisions, my life was extremely chaotic. There were very few constants and even fewer of quality. It was common for me to move at least once if not more every year. And when the year ended and it came time to file my taxes, I generally had four or five different employers to report. As odd as it may sound, one thing that never changed was my accountant. Even while I was still a teenager my mother referred me to a lady that she had worked with to help me file my taxes. I did not need her help every year but I never employed anyone else. And over the next 15 years she helped me file at least eight or nine years of tax returns.
            Her name was Helen . She lived in a rough neighborhood, one that I was very accustomed to frequenting for less than honorable purposes. But she was different than everyone else I had met in that neighborhood. In fact, she was different than everyone else in my life. I never heard her complain about her job, her friends, her family, or anything else. But that’s all my friends ever did. Most of her conversation revolved around her family. And she loved her family deeply. I was used to hearing people talk about their family in a very regretful way. Also she spoke of her faith often. I don’t mean that she quoted the Bible or described her theology or invited me to pray the sinner’s prayer. Rather she spoke of thankfulness, gratefulness, her blessings, God’s glory in her life, his mercy, and his faithfulness. I knew her church family was very important to her, (I’m pretty sure it was a United Methodist Church.)
            Year after year I would submerge myself in evil until it no longer looked unusual. And then I would go meet with Helen and she would sparkle like a light shining me to something different. I have heard people use the phrase when speaking of someone they were fond of “she’s like Jesus with skin.” When I remember Helen, I think of this quote and this verse from John 1:14. On Christmas Day we will celebrate the incarnation of Christ. We will celebrate the time when Jesus, the word of God, was made flesh. But do not be mistaken, it was not the last time the Word was made flesh. Through Helen the Word was made flesh in my life. I no longer saw Jesus as a historical figure or a God I read about in a book. I was given the opportunity to see him as something much more than just a being to which I pray. I saw him working and moving through human hands. He was made flesh through her.
I’m sure you love to celebrate Christmas. I’m sure you decorate a tree and give wonderful gifts. Do you want to truly celebrate Christmas this year? Allow God to use you so that he might be made flesh. Allow people to see Jesus through your words and your actions. Who knows how God might use that. One day, that hoodlum you show grace and mercy to might one day be someone’s pastor because the Word was made flesh through you.