Praying in the Pew
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
- Psalm 42:1-2, 11
Last Thursday, we kicked off our weekly prayer time with these words from the Psalmist and reflected on what they mean for us as we seek to follow God. We all face times that are dry and barren - times when we feel abandoned, lost, hopeless, overwhelmed. During these times, we thirst for just a bit of grace from God as if it were a stream of water when we are parched. When we feel cast down, we can remember those times when we rejoiced in and praised God for our cup that was filled to overflowing. While it is easy to want to just give up, we still can have hope that we will again praise God who is our help.
With this in mind, we began to walk among the pews, stopping at each one, and praying for you who normally sit there on Sunday mornings. After thirty minutes, we had made it up and down only one aisle and decided to continue this week with the next aisle. You see, we had so much to pray for - giving thanks for you and your ministry, asking for God's spirit to rest mightily with you, and remembering the burdens you bear and how they weigh on you. By the end, my eyes were filling with tears - tears of thanksgiving for who you are and tears of sorrow for the trials you face.
In the coming weeks, we will continue praying our way through the pews of the sanctuary, and I hope that you will consider joining us one week. If you cannot come because of work, school, or other obligations, I invite you to find a time at some point on Thursday to pray for those who sit on the pew with you, in front of you, and behind you. Give thanks for them and their ministry, ask for God's blessings, lift up any concerns you know that they have, and pray that God will draw you closer as brothers and sisters in Christ. Together, we can lift one another up, even when the other feels cast down and hopeless.
Remember to pray for one another, because we are all in this thing together!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
We approach the end of Jesus' journey among us and encounter some of the last people to meet Jesus as we reflect on what Meeting Jesus today means for our lives.
Sermon Snippet: Convicted (Luke 18:18-25)
After Jesus has welcomed children to be blessed and taught that we must enter the kingdom of heaven like little children, a ruler approaches him to ask what he must to do to inherit eternal life. After affirming that he has followed the rules of the Ten Commandments from his childhood, Jesus tells him that he lack one thing still - to sell all he has, give it to the poor, and follow Jesus. The ruler is sad because he has many things that he loves. When we meet Jesus, he not only comforts us in our afflictions by healing, forgiving, and giving peace to us, but he also afflicts us in our comfort by showing us how far we have fallen short of the glory for which we have been created. When we are confronted with our failures and convicted of our sin, we have a decision to make. Do we give up and walk away from Jesus in sadness because what he asks of us is virtually impossible? Or do we stick with Jesus despite the discomfort and try to figure out how to do these crazy things he calls us to do through the power of God for whom all things are possible?
This Week's Challenge
How is Jesus afflicting you in your comfort today? What crazy thing is Jesus convicting you to do? Instead of trying to ignore it, stick with Jesus this week and pray for him to open the path for you to join him in his work.
Jesus is on the final leg of his journey in to Jerusalem and his fate upon the cross at Calvary. As he enters Jericho, a rich tax collector climbs a tree to get a better view of Jesus. Fortunately for him, Jesus has saved one of his greatest miracles for just this day. Join us this Sunday as we explore this great miracle as wee little Zacchaeus is "Reconciled" by Jesus!
September 13 - "Reconciled" - Luke 19:1-10
September 20 - "Crucified" - Luke 23:32-43
September 27 - "Baptized" - Acts 8:26-38
Wednesday at the Port begins this week!
Wednesday at the Port is back for the fall! This week's free meal includes Pork BBQ, Cole Slaw, Mac & Cheese, and Desserts! While the meal is free, donations help us keep this ministry going. A $5 donation covers the complete cost of your meal and part of the cost for one of our friends of the community. Little Fishermen are looking at some of the stories of Jesus this fall, while the youth kick off their fall with a shortened version of the Proverbs Amazing Race! Invite your family and neighbors, and come out for Food, Friends, and Faith!
Are you looking for an opportunity to worship more? MORE is a community worship service focused on singing praise to God and is held every two months. The next MORE service is September 13 from 6 to 7 pm at Mountain View Fellowship Church in McGaheysville. Enjoy Oreos and milk after the service! The spiritual food this week will consist of people sharing their favorite Scriptures, so come prepared if you want to share! Talk with Pastor Jim, Dinah Watson, or Keith Robinson for MORE details. We will offer bus transportation from our church, leaving at 5:30 and returning around 7:30.
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, September 8
7 pm - Administrative Council Meeting
Wednesday, September 9
9:30 am - 2 pm - Office Hours
6 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, September 10
9:30 am - 12 pm - Office Hours
10:30 am - Prayer Time
Sunday, September 6
9:30 am - Worship: "Meeting Jesus - Reconciled"
11 am - Sunday School
4:30 pm - High School Confirmation Bible Study at the Church
5:30 - Bus Leaves for MORE Service
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!