Leaving the Burden of Sin Behind
Does God really forgive me? Even if I have gotten angry at God or said bad things about God? How can I forgive someone who has hurt me so much? Does it make me bad that I don't want to forgive that person?
As a pastor, forgiveness is one of the most common topics that folks ask me about. It seems that forgiveness is something that we - myself included - wrestle with the most in our walks with God. At times, we doubt whether God can truly forgive us for the things we have done. Other times, we struggle to find the strength to forgive those who have hurt us the most. Either way, we bear the heavy burden of sin through our lives. This burden is the sorrow for what we have done and the wounds of past wrongs against us. God wants more for us. God want us to leave the burden of sin behind through the power of forgiveness.
With the beginning of Lent this week, we are going to turn our focus in worship to this topic of sin and forgiveness. Join us as we leave the burden of sin behind together!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
To the Horizon: Finding Safe Haven (Matthew 17:1-9)
Over the last few weeks, we have talked about all the things that Jesus asks of us when we follow him: to care until our hearts break, to take the next step, to attend to the small things, to risk failure at things that matter, and to never take the privilege of working alongside him for granted. It is enough to wear anyone out. It is a part of our nature, after all. Rest is a part of who we are and what we require. It is so important that God made it one of the ten biggest commandments. Jesus himself took time out from his ministry to rest, often going alone or with just a few followers to an isolated spot to pray. On one occasion, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain where they saw him transfigured into a white light. Then they saw Moses and Elijah, those prophets of old standing alongside him. Peter, ever impulsive, wanted to build homes for the three of them and stay there. "It is good to be here," he said. But Jesus told them, "Get up!" and they made their journey back down the mountain.
Peter's response points out the allure of good rest. After months of hard travel and constant ministry, he was likely tired and ready to be refilled - not just physically but spiritually. After all, following Jesus can be hard work. There on that mountain, he found rest from the weary road. Why not just stay there where he could be filled by this miraculous scene instead of pouring himself into serving others? But that's not what rest is about! True rest is not about laziness nor selfishness. Rest is about healing from the old wounds and preparing for the next adventure. Like a toddler who plays hard, collapses into a nap, and then awakens ready to go at it all again, we are called to work hard in ministry, rest hard, and go back out again. That is why we do not live at church but rather gather there for rest periodically. Far more than simply doing nothing, our rest is holy rest - singing songs, reading Scripture, praying, enjoying God's good gifts. Through these we are renewed and ready to go out in ministry again. We follow Jesus not just by doing the many things he asks but also by making time for holy rest and then returning to work he has given us.
What gives you holy rest? How do we get motivated for ministry after resting?
Living in Community
Please remember Kerry, Lee, and their family in Christian sympathy
as they grieve the passing of Kerry's father Frank.
Thank you, Dinah, for sharing such beautiful words in your prayer on Sunday!
Thank you, Dinah, Jim, and Jodie, for serving communion on Sunday!
Thank you to our team that began planning for our 225th anniversary celebration!
Please be in prayer for them over the coming months.
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, February 14
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
6:00 pm - Wednesday at the Port
7:00 pm - Ash Wednesday Service
Thursday, February 15
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
7:00 pm - Trustees Meeting
Sunday, February 18
9:30 am - Worship: "Forgiven: A Bag of Rocks"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Monday, February 19
9:30 am - Bible Study at Dianna's house
Tuesday, February 20
7:00 pm - Bible Study at Dianna's house
225th Anniversary Planning Meeting - March 11
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!