Fall in the Air
It comes so suddenly! Almost overnight, the first leaves litter the ground, and those still hanging are starting to take on a yellow, orange, or brown hue. It is hard to believe that fall is almost here. Of course, this week the kids are starting off a new school year, so it should not surprise us that fall is around the corner.
With the first sign of changing leaves, the school buses running the roads again, and the arrival of the first cool weather of the fall, possibility is in the air. There is always something about new beginnings and changing times that brings renewed hope. Who knows what can be with a new year, in a new season? The things that weigh on us today can give way to healing and new life tomorrow.
In this new year of school and the coming of a new season, may you find hope and healing along life's way!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
I Do: Happily Ever After (John 2:1-11)
One of the goals of a friendship is to have someone we can count on through thick and thin. Marriage, as a special kind of friendship, is likewise about having someone we can grow old with as we journey through life's paths. When we marry, we are looking for a happily ever after. Of course, in fairy tales, the happily ever after sums up in three words the 10, 20, 30, 50, even 80 years of the relationship that occurs after the high point of the wedding itself. How could such a long time be summed up so shortly as if nothing were to happen - at least nothing interesting or worth noting? Possibly because we are ambivalent about the prospect of growing old together. On the one hand, we romanticize growing old together by dreaming of sitting on the front porch reflecting on life or still holding hands as we still do everything together. On the other hand, we (particularly younger folks) see older couples sitting quietly at a table eating and not talking, and we judge it harshly hoping we will never run out of things to talk about. God wants our marriages to be a lasting blessing, not something we tolerate until it ends. So what happens when Jesus shows up in a marriage, for a wedding? At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was invited to a wedding in Cana along with his mother and some of his disciples. When they ran out of wine, Mary pushed Jesus to do something to help. Jesus told the servants to fill the cleansing jugs with water and then take some to the master of the feast. The master drank this water that Jesus had turned to wine and, not knowing where it had come from, was surprised that the host family had saved the best wine for last. From this incident, we can reflect on three things that happened when Jesus showed up for a wedding. First, Jesus blesses our relationships and should be a part of the foundation of all our friendships and especially marriage. Second, Jesus takes the ordinary of our lives and turns it into something extraordinary. This is true of our relationships as well. This is where we need to be careful, because we can work the reverse miracle - turning the extraordinary that Jesus gives us into something mundane or ordinary. In marriage, we do this by taking each other for granted and focusing on the small disappointments rather than the great blessings. Third, when Jesus shows up in a marriage, he saves the best for last. Growing old together is a blessing in which our relationship grows deeper, more comfortable, stronger. To sum up a marriage as a fairly tale happily ever after assumes the best peaks at the wedding and the rest is okay. Yet God has a different plan for our relationships - that the best is yet to come!
A Life-Changing Gift
Have you ever received a gift that changed your life forever? What you did after that point was different because of one single gift. God, of course, is a master of the kind of gift-giving that changes everything. In the coming weeks in worship, we are going to look at one of the most overlooked life-changing gifts that God gives us. Join us this week as we look at how God gives us the opportunity for "A Lasting Legacy!"
Living in Community
Remember all of our teachers, staff, students, and families as school begins this week.
Hope it is the beginning of a great new school year!
A Prayer for a Really Good School
(from The Lion Book of 1000 Prayers for Children)
Dear God, Let us make our school a really good school:
let us be kind, let us be fair, let us be honest,
let us be respectful, let us be friendly, let us be ready to forgive,
let us grow up good.
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, August 22
7:00 pm - Administrative Council
Thursday, August 24
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, August 27
9:30 am - Worship - "A Life-changing Gift: A Lasting Legacy"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Wednesday at the Port, Bible Study on John, and financial classes
will begin the week of September 10th.
See attachments for more details on John study.
Contact Pastor Jim for more information on these opportunities!
Wednesday at the Port resumes September 13!
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!