This past Sunday, our gospel story was from the book of Matthew: "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (NRSV). I love Frederick Buechner's translation of these words in his Message Bible; that translation is part of the attached sermon from Sunday. As usual, Buechner's version is lyrical and beautiful. I found one phrase particularly striking: "Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." Sometimes, in the day to day pressures and burdens of life, we forget all that God has done and is doing for us. You and I cannot create or change the grace that God showers upon us. We can't speed God up or slow God down. We are I are subject to God's pace and generosity. It is as if we are carefully and tenderly placed in a boat that bobs and glides along a gentle river of grace, God's love abundant in the water and the vessel. So much of the time, you and I try to force people and situations, even God, to give us what we need, right here and right now. Jesus reminds us that he knows what we need and when we need it and that he is in control of this world and our lives. "Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." What a wonderful invitation: to find rest in Jesus in our turbulent and stressful days.
As you may know, the Floyd Center for the Arts (formerly the Jacksonville Center), invites three artists to show their artwork in a gallery off the main lobby. The artists are varied - usually a painter or photographer, someone who makes pottery, baskets or accessories and a jewelry artist. Each show is up for two months. This Friday, a new group of artists will be featured and I will be the jewelry artist! Many of my pieces will include beach glass, pearls and semi-precious gemstones. The opening of the new show is this Friday, July 14, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. You are most welcome to attend the opening and/or visit the gallery during the next two months.
Play practice is underway for the Zion Players! Vickie's imaginative and entertaining words have been put to page and song and we're preparing for 4 performances: August 18, 19, 25 and 26.
The next Oak Grove Pavilion musical performance will be the Zephyr Lightning Bolts on Saturday, July 22.
Thank you for your wonderful response to the new mosquito net campaign. These nets will go to our companion synod in Papua New Guinea to help prevent malaria. We still have some mosquitos to eradicate; they may be purchased for a donation of any amount between $1 and $10. See Diane Geissler or Billy Motley to make a donation.
Please keep Leslie Slusher in your prayers as she recovers from surgery.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his/her neighbor, for we are members one of another.
- Ephesians 4:25