30 February 2013 Bulletin Preview

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

The Word of God for the People of God.
Thanks be to God.

THE SERMON

““Why Can’t I See God’s Will for My Life?”        –     Rev. David Raiford

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON

Proverbs 3:1-6, King James Version (KJV)

3 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

NEW TESTAMENT LESSON

Colossians 1:9-10, King James Version (KJV)

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

How To Save a Life – The Unknown Traveler

The original is here:  How To Save a Life – The Unknown Traveler

How to Save a Life

January 6, 2012 by Andy

Last night I was at a home improvement big box store when a song came over the PA. I immediately recognized it as a song I had first heard on my favorite TV series of all time, Scrubs. The song was “How to Save a Life” by the Fray. I’ll talk about Scrubs more in a minute.

This morning I was surfing the interwebs trying to find more information about this song and band and discovered some interesting things. First, the song (according to wikipedia) was written from the lead singer’s perspective and experience as a camp counselor for troubled teens. There was a particular teen that seemed unreachable, and he was struggling (without a manual) on how to save a life. This resonates deeply with me as a camp director.

Another interesting thing that I learned was that even though the song was intentionally written from a particular perspective, addressing a particular issue, (in a specific time and place)  it was written in such a way that it had broad resonance across a spectrum of issues and situations (as many works of art do). The band recognized this, and opened it up to interpretation, inviting others to upload self-made videos of the song. How cool is that?

Now back to Scrubs. The aforementioned episode (and the following one) also resonated deeply with me, incredibly so. In the first episode, “My Lunch” three patients die from rabies infected organs they received from transplants. All three transplants came from Jill, (the “annoying patient”) who has died from what J.D. mistakenly thinks is a drug overdose, and he’s beating himself up for not paying attention to the warning signs because of his annoyance with her. Dr. Cox (J.D.’s abrasive mentor) kicks him out of his funk by chastising him: “The second you start blaming yourself for people’s deaths, there’s no coming back.”

Only later in the episode do we learn that Jill actually died from rabies, as a second transplant patient develops issues and dies. Dr. Cox realizes that by rushing the transplant decisions, he has made a grave error. It is then that Dr. Cox gets the call that the third transplant patient, his friend, is in trouble. After unsuccessfully trying to save his friend, he loses it. J.D., in an effort to return the favor offers Dr. Cox his own advice: “The second you start blaming yourself for people’s deaths, there’s no coming back.” The always gruff and tough-exteriored Dr. Cox, with tears in his eyes simply says, “Ya, you’re right.” and walks out of the hospital.

The following episode, “My fallen idol,” picks up with Dr. Cox being so consumed by his grief that he goes on a bender. Elliot, Turk, Carla, Jordan, Dr. Kelso, even the Todd with Ted and his band all take turns standing 24-hour vigil with the now perpetually inebriated (and assumably suicidal) Dr. Cox. It is only through this constant companionship that Dr. Cox is able to emerge from his long, dark night of the soul.

Both of these images, the camp counselor seeking to break through to a troubled teen, and the community of friends surrounding a loved-one with sheer compassion and simple presence are emotionally powerful, but then I watched the music video and found myself in tears.

(Music Video of The Fray “How to Save a Life”  here)

As I watched this video, and the many images of teens who are hurting, it was a stark reminder to me that we are living in a world full of hurting hearts. Teens, Twenties, Thirties, Eighties. Everywhere we turn, people are carrying thinly veiled grief and pain, and when it becomes so unbearable, meltdowns  happen, and if left alone with our hurt, terrible, even unspeakable things can happen.

But when surrounded with community, when we pour our love upon one another, healing can begin. Even in the deepest, darkest grief, the blessing of community can bring about wholeness.  And the writers of the music video above get that. Watch the video again, and watch the expressions shift and change at the end.

Pain and difficulty are very real part of this life. But so is the good news of life, love, and community, if we are willing to risk ourselves, if we are willing to carry another’s burdens and feel another’s heartache. It is the paradox of life. In our willingness to be broken for another, with another, we ourselves can be made whole.

23rd Psalm Revisited

23rd Psalm Revisited

In the light of the dawning day
I see life in a clearer way

No shadows reaching out
No phantom fears or doubt

I can feel the warmth of the sunshine
I can hear the morning’s song
I am wrapped in Freedom’s blanket
He’s been with me all along

My Shepherd
My Shelter
Provider
My King
Cup Overflowing
My Everything

I can feel the warmth of the sunshine
I can hear the morning’s son
I am wrapped in Freedom’s blanket
I am home
And I belong.

©Donna W. Earnhardt, 2009 – Ad Infinitum

Ministries this Week

umc-cross-and-flame

MONDAY, JANUARY 28

  • 6:30 PM ZUMBA
  • 7:30 PM Christian Workers Meeting
  • (at Donna Goodman’s home)

TUESDAY, JANUARY 29

  • 6:00 PM Prayer Shawl
  • 7:00 PM Worship Committee

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30

  • 6:15 PM Handbells
  • 7:00 PM Choir Practice

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31

  • 11:00 AM Visitation
  • 6:30 PM Zumba
  • 7:00 PM Scouts

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1

  • Office Closed

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2

  • 7:00 PM Bloom
  • ( meet in the sanctuary)

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3

  • 9:25 AM Prayer Time
  • 9:45 AM Sunday School
  • 11:00 AM Worship Service
  • Meet and Greet for Sandy Angela following the service.

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