A Lesson Lived
We are in the midst of Vacation Bible School, and we are having a great week so far! One of the great things about VBS is how the Bible stories are brought to life so that the kids can experience them in a new way. This week, I myself experienced one of our lessons - in fact I lived it. On Tuesday, we were discovering the story of Jesus' visit to Mary and Martha's home, and the Bible story lesson began with asking about what happens when we are about to have company arrive. The obvious answer, of course, is that we clean up. Even if we have only a few minutes notice (perhaps especially when this happens), we scramble to tidy things up as much as we can. After the question, the kids had to hurry to pick up the messy classroom floor and set a table. The point was to help the children see how trying to make things perfect for Jesus' visit led the hard-working Martha to lose sight of what really mattered - loving Jesus.
As I was preparing the lesson, it became clear that our youngest boy was sick and would not be able to attend VBS. If we were going to be able to lead our parts that night, we were going to need a babysitter. We tried to find one to no avail until one of our youth was willing to give up her evening to help us out. With an hour to go before the babysitter arrived, that meant the mad scramble to pick up toys and neaten up was on. As I was living the night's lesson in this way, I couldn't help but to appreciate what really mattered in that situation - serving the kids of community in Jesus' name and knowing that my own sick child was being well cared for. God sometimes has a sense of humor in the way we wind up living the lessons we try to share with others.
The lesson I lived, however, was more than just the distractions of trying to make things nice for a guest like Martha did. The lesson I lived was also how it truly takes a village - a village church - to raise and care for a child. It was the willing spirit of a teen and the kindness of another volunteer to cover one of my classes that made it possible for me to be a part of the village for so many other children. It takes all of us working together in ways both large and small to nurture the children God has brought our way. Thanks be to God for the village we have to help us and for the village we have the privilege to be for others!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Helpless (Acts 3:1-11)
Have you ever seen someone whose situation was so difficult that they seemed helpless? You wanted to help, but you didn't know how you could possibly make a difference. So you did the only thing you knew to do: "I will pray for you," you offered. There is certainly nothing wrong with this statement, but it is often just as much an expression of our feeling helpless to help as it is a gesture of caring. Peter and John, two of Jesus' disciples, faced a seemingly helpless situation on the way to the temple one day. They encountered a man who had been born lame begging for money to have enough to eat. The two wanted to help and knew of God's expectation that they would help, but they had no money. They were helpless to help, but Peter did something remarkable. I do not have money, he told the man, but what I do have I give to you. Peter then told the man get up in the name of Jesus, offered him his hand, and lifted him up. The man was healed and walking around on his own. When we feel helpless to help, it is often because we are more focused on what we cannot do or what we do not have to give than on what we can do and what we do have that we can give. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, our offering to help others is judged not by what we do not have but rather by what we do have that we can give. God does not expect us to do more to help others than we are capable of, but God does expect us to do what we can. We can always do something or give something, because we have an endless supply of love, grace, joy, peace, mercy, kindness, and comfort. We always have more of these to give because they do not come from us but rather from the infinite God who has poured them into us to begin with. May you give what you have to give to those around you this week!
Summer Bible Reading Plan
Day 15 -Joshua 6 - Strange Tactics
Day 16 - Joshua 24 - Home at Last
Day 17 - Judges 6 - Unlikely Leader
Day 18 - Judges 16 - A Strong Man’s Flaws
Day 19 - Ruth 1 - Tough Love
Day 20 - 1 Samuel 3 - Transition Team
Day 21 - Psalm 23 - A Shepherd’s Song
This week's readings focus on how the people of God who had wandered the wilderness came to live in the promised land. Although God lived up to the promise made to Abraham long ago, the people continued to turn away and bad things would happen to them. Each time, God would hear their cry of suffering and send a judge to deliver them. Eventually God would anoint a king to lead the people and hopefully keep them on the right path.
Living in Community
Thank you, Lee and Melissa, for creating such a great float for the parade!
Thank you, Randy, for the trailer and for driving the float!
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to make this float possible!
Our float won $75 which is going towards our mission project!
This Week at Port Church
Monday - Friday: Vacation Bible School!
Wednesday, June 27
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, June 28
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, July 1
9:30 am - Worship with VBS Celebration: "Clutter"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Picnic and Hike - July 7 (rain date - July 14)
Seniors Lunch and Bing0 - July 8
Praise Dance Worship Service - July 15
Welcome Reception for New District Superintendent - July 15, 2-5 pm, Dayton UMC
Back-to-School Bingo - August 12
Potato Drop to benefit local hunger ministries - September 15
225th Anniversary Celebration - September 29
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!
8525 Water Street
PO Box 116
Port Republic, VA 24471