Learning to Sing
This past Saturday, we had the privilege of attending the Mount Bethel Baptist Lawn Party in New Hope. Courtney's choir had been invited to come share as one of the musical performers in singing a few old hymns. As Courtney accompanied and sang with her choir, I sat with our three boys listening and clapping along - Zach and Hunter to one side and Seth in my lap. When the choir began "Marching to Zion," I started to hear a new voice - a softer, closer one. I looked down at Seth and saw him trying to sing along with the choir. While his vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds every day (and much of that hard to understand), the words of the hymn were mostly beyond him, so his singing was a mix of oo's, ah's, and some form of toddler gibberish. But he was having a blast and couldn't help but to sing as best as he knew how.
It made me think about how we learn to do things, especially how to follow Jesus. As disciples, we may try our best to follow Jesus, but there are certainly things we still have to learn - how to love everyone, how to be patient, how to stand up against wrong, how to share grace rather than hold onto it, etc. There are so many things we are growing in our abilities to do. In some things, we may have reached a decent level of mastery - enough to get by on at least. Yet, looking at my own life, I have to believe that there are some areas of our lives of faith where our mastery is on par with a toddler just learning to sing - the ways we show love to our enemies and the ways we forgive those who have deeply hurt us, for instance. How grateful I am that we serve a gracious and forgiving God! I wonder if Jesus looks upon us in our attempts at love and grace and admires our attempts in the way that we cherish the beauty of toddler learning to sing.
May God give us the grace to learn something new about following Jesus and to sing out the song of faith even when we don't yet know how!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
We are continuing our worship series "Meeting Jesus" - a look at some of the stories that Luke tells of people encountering Jesus along life's journeys. Over the next couple of months, we will explore how we meet Jesus and what difference it makes in our lives.
Sermon Snippet: Seeking (Luke 7:1-10)
Many of the first people to meet Jesus just happened to be where he showed up or were carried by others. As Jesus' reputation as a teacher and healer grew, however, people began seeking him out. One of the first to actively seek Jesus is a surprising character - a Roman centurion. Roman military officers had a reputation for being cruel and oppressive and were reviled by the Jewish people. Yet this centurion is one who cared deeply for his ill servant, had built a synagogue for the people in Capernaum to worship in, and was well-respected by the local elders who asked Jesus to heal this centurion's servant. As Jesus approached his house, the centurion sent word to Jesus that he did not have to come into his home - something that would make Jesus unclean according to Jewish law. Instead, the centurion trusted that if Jesus merely said the word that his servant would be healed. The centurion trusted that Jesus' authority was greater than his own, so he did not make demands of him or treat him as another servant to be ordered around. This faith, so complete and so humble - especially from an outsider - surprised even Jesus who lifted the centurion up as an example to be followed.
This Week's Challenge
When you seek Jesus in prayer this week, begin and end your requests with the statement "Your will, not mine, be done."
Jesus is invited to a dinner party at Simon's house. As he reclines at the table, a woman - a sinful woman of the town - enters Simon's home and begins to wash Jesus' feet. So strong was her love and gratitude for being forgiven of her sin that she uses her own tears and hair to wash his feet rather than water and a cloth. Join us this Sunday in "Pouring Out" all that we are at the feet of Jesus!
August 23 - "Pouring Out" - Luke 7:36-49 - Back-to-School Blessing/Promotion Sunday
August 30 - "Reaching Out" - Luke 8:40-54
September 6 - "Convicted" - Luke 18:18-25
Back to School Blessing This Sunday!
This Sunday, we will also celebrate the beginning of a new school year with a special blessing for our teachers, staff, and students. Kids, bring your backpacks for a special blessing! Teachers and staff, come for a blessing to start off the new year right and a surprise to help keep you going strong all year long!
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Thursday, August 20
10 am - Sunshine Seniors
Sunday, August 23
9:30 am - Worship: "Meeting Jesus - Reaching Out"
Back to School Blessing/Promotion Sunday
11 am - Sunday School
6 pm - High School Confirmation Bible Study
Proverbs Challenge Q&A Due
Budget Requests Due
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!
8525 Water Street
Port Republic, VA 24471