The political, social, and religious situation in the world today is similar or worse than what it was in Israel then. The sins of God’s people are many and God is judging us. Like the Israelites, we are not happy with God’s response to our fasting. But God is telling us that our motives are not genuine and we are fasting for the wrong reasons. We fast because we want something from Him. Only when we take up true fasting for the right reasons will He answer our prayers. Isaiah 58:1-10 is less about fasting and more about genuine worship. God is asking us to have love and compassion for others and to help those in need. Only then will we receive his blessing.
To listen to the scripture click here
COME SING WITH US!
We Want to Worship With You
“Lord of the Dance” is a hymn written by English songwriter Sydney Carter in 1963. The melody is from the American Shaker song “Simple Gifts“. The hymn is widely performed in English-speaking congregations and assemblies.” [Wikipedia]
Thank you, Teachers, School Administrators, Board of Education Members!
You have been the center of the latest major dilemma and debate in our country as school districts are working out what education will look like in the coming academic year. It feels like impossible work, with a vast number of needs, opinions, wants, pushes, and pulls. In a conversation with parents from Elliot’s school this week it was noted that “a fix for one family is a break for another.” How do those who have decision-making power and a stake in these decisions begin to weigh all of the factors and lead us forward?
I do not have a magic answer here, by any means. I do wonder if we might continue seeking the Kin-dom of God as we approach these matters, from whichever place we do so. Does anything become clearer when we continue to ground ourselves in the Kin-dom values, such as the Beatitudes and Parables, Jesus teaches and lives?
I’m not going to try to name all of our teachers, school administrators, and BOE members in our congregation, because I will miss way too many of you. But know that you are in my heart and my prayers. We celebrate you and encourage you in this very difficult time. And we likewise encourage our families with school-aged children who are also making difficult decisions, enduring extra anxiety and uncertainty, and continuing to be part of a teaching team with our kids’ professional teachers.
Be well, be safe, wear masks, and keep social distances.
To watch what NJ schools will look like this Fall click here
What is YOUR concept of the Kingdom of Heaven? Or as we sometimes say, the “Kin-dom of Heaven.” You are invited to respond to Pastor Jenny Smith Walz. On July 26, 2020, when Pastor Jenny Smith Walz invited us to finish the sentence “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” She referred to these verses from the lectionary,
Matthew 13: 44—52
What is your idea of the Kin-dom? Your vision of a ‘beloved community?” YOU ARE INVITED to comment on this Facebook post or ask the Communications Ministry Team (office@PrincetonUMC.org) how your words might be published.
Some resources: a link to the bulletin) with this prayer:
Form in us a new vision of community in which there is neither East nor West, neither South nor North. We pray for the sake of your Kin-dom that both is and is not yet.
If you want to hear the sermon again, go here and choose July 26
The Benediction was a poem from Rumi
The Last Word
The Absolute works with nothing.
The workshop, the materials
Are what does not exist.
Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
Where something might be planted,
A seed, possibly from the Absolute.
–Mevlana Julaluddin Rumi 1207-1273
Trans. Colman Barks
Though books read at Children’s Time are – yes – for children, they also help to illuminate what adults will hear in the sermon that follows. On July 26, 2020, Pastor Jenny Smith Walz drew on parables from Matthew 13:31—33 & 44—52 to preach on “The Kingdom of Heaven is Like..” She read a story about a child who plants a mustard seed in an empty garden. “It is an itty-bitty seed. It isn’t anything very special—yet.”
The closing lines of this book, The Marvelous Mustard Seed. say that the parable of the mustard seed “helps us to imagine what can be….but isn’t yet.” Here is this story, read by a church in Tuscaloosa.
COME SING WITH US!
We Want to Worship With You
Click here to enjoy ‘Blessed Assurance’ Christian Worship Song Lyrics -YouTube
“Blessed Assurance,” a well-known Christian hymn, is on the list for the Summer Hymn Sing, before the 10 A.M. worship service. The lyrics were written in 1873 by blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby to the music written in 1873 by Phoebe Knapp. The popular song reflects Crosby’s walk of faith, as expressed by the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (ESV).” [Wikipedia]
“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…
This is the inter-related structure of reality.”
excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and the Struggle that Changed a Nation