As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I give thanks to God for each and every one of you! As you spend time with friends and family around the table this week, I want to share this ancient Celtic prayer of blessing for you:
Bless this house and those within.
Bless our giving and receiving.
Bless our words and conversation.
Bless our hands and recreation.
Bless our sowing and our growing.
Bless our coming and our going.
Bless all who enter and depart.
Bless this house, your peace impart.
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
Promises to God - Service (1 John 3:6-18)
As we continue to explore the vow we make to participate faithfully in the ministries of the church, we turn our attention to service. To serve means to do something for the benefit or on behalf of another. In the church, we think of service not only as helping others but also as worshipping God. This connection is noted by a theologian who saw worship and service as two sides of the same coin. Worship is what we do for God because we need to do for our own sake, while service is what we do for God because God wants it done. Service in the faith sense is running God's errands. In this sense, service is something we do for the benefit of others and on behalf of God. So how do we faithfully participate in ministry through our service?
In his first letter, John encourages us to love not with words and speech but with actions and in truth. Love is at the root of service. When we serve, we love both God and neighbor. John says, however, that love expressed only in words and speech is not enough. To see someone in need and not to have compassion in action is to not have the love of God within us. This echoes James's claim that faith with works is dead. "I love you. God bless you. I will pray for you." These words are meaningless if not matched by loving deeds. To be faithful, we need to go beyond mere words and begin to act. John goes a step further and says that we are to love in truth. This is an odd phrase - "love... in truth." Truth here is not a set of facts but a state of being, much like being in love is not just a feeling but a state of being that changes everything about us. What is truth? This is a question we might ask today when the truth of everything is called into question. Of course, this is also an ancient question even asked by Pilate as he interrogated Jesus. Paul gives us an answer here: the truth in which we are to live and love is that Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and we should in turn lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. This is what it means to be faithful in service. God calls us to love with actions and in truth. This is a love that costs something - a love that may be free but certainly is not cheap. This is a love that breaks our heart and requires a sacrifice. This is a love that causes us to have many tears and yet promises us that the day will come when God will wipe away our tears with a tender hand. Love with actions and in truth - this is how we live out our vow to faithfully participate in ministry through our service!
Living in Community
Thank you to everyone who made this fall session of Wednesday at the Port possible!
Cooks, servers, cleaners, teachers, bus drivers and riders, thank you!
This Week at Port Church
Monday, November 19
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Wednesday & Thursday, November 21-22
Sunday, November 25
9:30 am - Worship: Promises to God - Witness
11:00 am - Sunday School
Poinsettia Order Deadline - December 9
Drive-thru Nativity - December 14 & 15, 7-9 pm
Christmas Cantata - December 23, 7 pm
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