Sunday's Sermon Snippet
The Foolishness of God (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
This year has been an odd one for the church calendar. We began the season of Lent on February 14th (St. Valentine's Day) - an odd juxtaposition to be sure. This timing also means that Easter Sunday fell on April 1st (April Fool's Day) this year - an even stranger combination. I have never been much of one for April Fool's Day, perhaps because I really don't enjoy being made to feel like a fool. Of course, I don't know many folks that do like that feeling of being made foolish. All the more pity for us then that God has no reservation in making us to be fools. Just look at the message we proclaim on Easter: a man crucified and buried 2000 years ago rose from the dead and has the power to change the world. It is a fool's belief.
Even St. Paul recognized this in his first letter to the church in Corinth. The Jewish people demanded powerful signs, and the Gentiles were looking for wise things that made beautiful sense of the world. This is what they needed to believe that God's presence was at work. Yet what we have to offer - what we preach, Paul says, is Christ crucified. Being sentenced to death in such a shameful way is no sign of power, and that such a man could save the world when he did not save himself makes very little sense. To believe that God is saving the world through the death of a man treated like a criminal - well, that's just foolishness.
But Paul points out how God uses the lowly, seemingly weak and foolish things of the world to do great things. In fact, God has a good habit of doing so. From choosing Israel - a people enslaved in mighty Egypt - to sending Moses, a man with a stutter, to be his spokesman, from using the outsider Rahab to help the people come to the promised land to selecting Gideon from the smallest clan of the smallest tribe to deliver the people from oppression, from making the suspicious foreigner Ruth the great-grandmother of the great King David to choosing David, the youngest son of a shepherd and a fairly flawed man himself, to be the great king, from exalting a young woman named Mary engaged to a simple carpenter in the backwaters of Galilee to be the mother of God's son to calling fishers and tax collectors to be his inner circle, God has repeatedly used the lowly, the weak, the foolish to accomplish the great work of God. God could choose from among the strongest and wisest, but God chooses these lowly ones. What foolishness this is!
What foolishness it is to believe that a crucified criminal can be the savior of the world! What foolishness it is to think that he could so utterly change our lives! What foolishness it is to sacrifice our time, our energy, our wealth, and even our well-being for his sake! What foolishness it is to believe that through him we can make any difference in a world that is so full of problems so much larger than ourselves! It is foolishness indeed, but it is God's foolishness, and that makes all the difference in the world! For God's foolishness is wiser than our greatest wisdom and God's weakness is greater than our greatest strength. If we are to be fools today, at least let us be fools for God!
Youth Sunday This Week!
This Sunday is one you will not want to miss - our youth group will be leading the worship from start to finish! From the songs to the prayers, from the greeting to the offering, from the children's message to a powerful sermon from Tristan, the youth have been hard at work preparing for this Sunday, and it is sure to be a Spirit-filled, moving worship service. We hope to see you here this Sunday at 9:30 am!
Living in Community
Check out the bulletin board in the Sunday School hallway - this month features some of the work from students in Miss Patty's class!
Thanks to everyone who has made our Wednesdays at the Port possible this winter! To our cooks who prepared such delicious food, to our servers and cleaners who shared such hospitality, to our bus drivers/riders who helped so many children join us, to our table parents who shared their meals with the kids, to our teachers/helpers who shared the faith in so many different ways, we cannot thank you enough for all you have done!
Thanks to Barb for leading the devotional at the Food Pantry on our behalf last week!
Thank you, Jim, Chris, Eddie, Angela, and Courtney for bringing the disciples to life at our Living Last Supper at Grottoes UMC last Thursday!
Thank you to Lee and Mike for delivering our Easter lilies to the church for Sunday's worship! Thank you to everyone who helped decorate our sanctuary by purchasing lilies!
Thank you, Sue, for providing coffee and juice so early in the morning for our Easter Sunrise Service!
Thanks, Ralph, Susie, Chris, the Praise Band, and all our many volunteers, for helping to lead such wonderful Easter worship! Thanks to Courtney, Susie, and Becca for filling in as communion servers at the last minute!
Thanks to Jodie and Jim for mowing and weeding our front flower beds in time for our Easter celebrations!
We have much to be thankful for - especially all the wonderful servants who make God's ministries happen here at our in church in so many countless ways! Thanks to you all!
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, April 4
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, April 5
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Friday, April 6
5:30 pm - Youth Sunday Practice
Sunday, April 8
9:30 am - Worship: Youth Sunday
11:00 am - Sunday School
12:00 noon - 225th Anniversary Planning Meeting
Tuesday, April 10
7:00 pm - Bible Study at Dianna's house
Fill the Field - April 21-22
Paint Night - April 27, 6-9 pm
VBS tentatively scheduled for June 25-29
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!