The PATH to Prayer
This week, we come to end of our PATH to Prayer. We have talked about how Praise, Admit, and Thank play a part in our prayers, and we finish up now with Help.
At times, asking God for "Help" comes rather naturally. When we are in over our heads and do not know what to do, we turn to God for help. Other times, however, we forget to ask for God's help. Perhaps things seem manageable still, and we feel like we can fix them on our own. Perhaps we are afraid to ask for help because we fear that the answer may be "no" and then we will be completely out of options. Even in these circumstances, we should pray for God's help for ourselves and others in the world.
Asking for God's help does not mean, however, that we will get our way. Praying does not turn God into a magic wand to create our every desire. Sometimes God does answer our prayers with a "no" or a "wait!" When we pray for God's help, we would well to remember Jesus' prayer when he asked God to let him avoid the crucifixion: "Yet not my will, but yours be done." When we ask for help, we focus on what we want, and it is hard to let go of the control we want over what will happen. It takes a deep act of faith to join with Jesus in asking for help but fully turning over control to God. It is an act of faith that God is good, gracious, and wise to do what is best even if it is not what we want.
May you turn over your prayers to God with faith that God is good, gracious, and wise!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Hiding in the Bushes
The season of Lent is a time to focus on growing in our relationship with God. One of the things that holds us back in this relationship is sin that separates us from God. Over the next few weeks, we are going to look at the story of Adam, Eve, and their family to see how sin affected them and how God made room for salvation even in the midst of sin.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Hiding in the Bushes (Genesis 3:7-13)
Once Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation and took of the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they became afraid. Their first instinct was to hide - to hide their naked vulnerability from each other by covering up with fig leaves. Sin exposes us for who we are, and we try to hide and cover it up so that others will not know us fully. When they heard God walking in the garden, Adam and Eve became even more frightened, knowing that the fig leaves offered meager protection from being seen by God. They hid among the bushes and trees, but God called for them. Adam responded first admitting why he was hiding. When confronted by God about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam quickly Eve who in turn passed the blame onto the serpent. This too is a way of hiding - hiding from the truth of what they had done and the responsibility they bore for their own actions, even if they were tempted. Time and again, Adam and Eve hid from what they had done and its consequences because they were afraid. The same is true for us when we sin. We grow afraid of being found out so we cover it up with half-truths, omissions, and lies. That fear leads us to more sins as we continue to try to find cover. This is the downward spiral of sins and fear that twists the truth and begets more sins that leads us into the state of sin - that is, separation from God. The truth is that we worship a forgiving and gracious God, but our fear leads us to hide from grace and forgiveness rather than to turn back in repentance to God. What makes sin so dangerous for us is that it damages our relationships - both with each other and with God.
Living in Community
If you are interested in being a communion server, please talk with Pastor Jim. Training provided!
If you would like to order lilies for Easter, sign up at church the next two Sundays
or talk with Lee in the church office.
Please pray for confirmation class that kicked off this past Sunday.
We have six middle-school youth diving into and learning more about our faith!
This Week at Port Church
Monday, March 13
9:30 am - Bible Study at Dianna's
Tuesday, March 14
7:00 pm - Bible Study at Dianna's
Wednesday, March 15
6:00 - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, March 16
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, March 17
6:00 - 9:00 pm - Paint Night
Bring a snack to share - drinks provided!
Sunday, March 19
9:30 am - Worship - "From Garden to Garden: Facing the Music"
11:00 am - Sunday School
4:00 pm - Confirmation Class at Ciro's
6:30 pm - Financial Peace University
April 13 - Maundy Thursday
April 14 - Good Friday
April 16 - Easter Sunday
April 23 - Youth Sunday
June 26-30 - Vacation Bible School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!