Last week, we took our toddler to a park alongside a river. It was a little bit of a hike from the where we had parked, so after his little legs gave out, he asked to be carried. As soon as we got to the water's edge, however, he immediately started begging to get down, all the while squirming as best as he could to aid the process. It didn't take but a second from the time his feet hit the ground to the moment that the first rock was in his hand and being thrown in the rushing water. As you might imagine if you have ever been down to the water's edge with a little fellow, it was the first of countless many. I believe the little guy could have stayed there throwing rocks for hours if the sun had not been ready to set. It has always amazed me how much all of our boys have taken to tossing and skipping rocks for any amount of time we'll let them. Truth be told, even now I am pretty much the same as our boys. There with our littlest one, it wasn't long before a rock was in my own hand on its way out into the river, and I probably could have tossed rocks into the river for hours alongside him.
That's the way it so often is with the simple joys of life. In our busyness and adult seriousness, we forget about the joy found in simple things - things that amaze and grasp a child's attention. To a little child, so much of our world is amazing and so much joy is to be had in the smallest and simplest of things - a stone splashing into a river, a butterfly floating by, running as fast as your legs can carry you with no destination in mind just because you can. Is it any wonder that Jesus said we must enter into the kingdom of heaven like little children - perhaps with a wonder at all that surrounds us and a joy that is contagious even to us serious adults. There by the riverside, we caught a glimpse of the kingdom of God. May the joy and wonder of the children in our lives remind us of the joy and wonder of God's love!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Lazy Days of Summer
As we enter the hot days of August, our worship is focusing on our need to take Sabbath time to rest and be with God, especially during these "Lazy Days of Summer!"
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Rest
Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Far from being as lazy as their reputation has them to be, summer days are now filled to overflowing with things to do and places to go. Like so much of life today, even "lazy" summer days are packed with busyness leaving little time to rest. Yet rest is as essential to our lives as food, water, and air. Without it, we cannot live. Among the Ten Commandments, God told us we need to take time to rest each week. This is not about laziness in the bad sense of the word but instead about an intentional time to rest; to reflect on where we have been, where we are, and where we are going; and to simply be with God. In the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus, we are told that we should rest because God rested when creation was finished. Because God rested, we should too. In the same list in Deuteronomy, we read a different reason for resting on the Sabbath - because our forebears knew what it meant to work endlessly as slaves in Egypt, we should rest so that others may rest as well. It is a justice issue that our personal decision to work or rest means others must either work or rest as well. If we were to think about going for a hike and coming across a bench along the path, resting with God means taking time to sit on the bench and observe the beauty around us. Resting with others means taking a break on the bench so that everyone we are hiking with can replenish their energy even if we are not tired ourselves. Resting with God and one another is a gift from God and a necessary one if we are to have a healthy life and vital faith. May you find time to rest this week!
If we take the command to rest seriously, what can we actually do? Is there any work we can do? What if we have a job that requires us to work on Sundays? How can we answer God's call to rest when there is so much to do so much of the time? Join us this Sunday as we question how rest can be a part of "Life"!
Living in Community
Please continue to pray for Bishop Sharma Lewis
as she prepares to lead our conference beginning September 1st.
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, August 3
9:30 am - 2:00 pm - Office Hours
Thursday, August 4
9:30 am - 12 noon - Office Hours
7:15 pm - Trustees Meeting
Friday, August 5
4-7 pm - Youth Car Wash Fundraiser - 7-11 at Quarles Ct on Rt 33
Sunday, August 7
9:30 am - Worship with Communion: "Lazy Days of Summer: Life"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Wednesday at the Port begins September 14!
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!