In her sermon on the Second Sunday of Easter, Interim Pastor Rebekah Anderson preached on the story of “The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith,” as recorded in the Scripture Mark 7:24-30. She stated that when people are brought into direct contact with the truth, they are transformed. Whatever is obstructing their view is removed and allows them to see clearly something they couldn’t see before. In the case of Jesus, it’s as if, for one moment, he lost sight of his mission. He seemingly forgot that he had just taught the crowd of Scribes and Pharisees that “what comes out of our hearts supersedes the law.”
The Syrophoenician woman of great faith asked Jesus to heal her daughter. She, who was a Gentile, not Jewish, taught Jesus to be more tolerant. This woman brought Jesus into a direct encounter with the truth and reminds him of his mission’s entire point, thus empowering him to transform others. Pastor Rebekah reminds us “that as Christians, we are called to listen deeply to ourselves, to others, and to God.” We are often afraid to listen, she said, “because when we do, we are often confronted with things that are really uncomfortable.” She invites us to honor God with our hearts and actions by listening to those who are different from us, who can remind us of what we are called to be. God’s unconditional love for us will help us listen deeply.
You, too, can experience God’s love and transformation. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church, and be a part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to the sermon.
In her sermon on Easter Sunday, Rev. Jenny Smith Walz proposed that we make Christ’s death and resurrection story our story and let it sink down deep within us. When that happens, we can do things we never could have dreamed of. We can show peace to one another. We can celebrate with joy. How profoundly transforming this story is!
“We live falling short of the goals of loving God with our whole selves and with loving one another the way Christ loves us,” stated Pastor Jenny. May Christ’s saving grace transform us and help us to love God and our fellow men more. She advised us not to cover up the horrible parts of our story, adding, “If we admit our brokenness, God will go to any length to bring us back and repair our brokenness.”
What is your death and resurrection story? How do you tell your story? You, too, can experience God’s love and transformation. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church, and be a part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to the sermon.
In her sermon on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Pastor Jenny explained the terms “false self” and “true self’ that she quoted from Thomas Merton. She said the broken pieces inside us reside in the ‘false self,’ while the “true self” is our belovedness, or “the secret beauty of our hearts.” “Are you afraid of the darkness inside you? Are you afraid of being truly alone in solitude with yourself?” she asked. The way to that true self is to let God into those dark places with us. “God will help us look at those broken things inside us, and they will start to dissolve, and we will see something beautiful come out of us.” Our true selves – our compassion – will come out shining as bright as the sun.
In Lent, as we journey to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, let’s see if we can be less afraid of the dark. To do this, we should keep our minds off earthly things and look to divine things. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church. God will help us show compassion to others. Click here to watch the worship service and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon.
In her sermon on the Third Sunday of Lent, Hyelim Yoon explained that this is a story of two sons. The prodigal son, who had left home but dared to come back despite his past mistakes, asking for his Father’s forgiveness and receiving a generous welcome and so much more than he could have imagined. The elder son, the beloved child who stayed at home with his Father, but felt entitled to more recognition and love, was not very welcoming to his brother.
One of the reasons Jesus is telling this parable is to show that just like the elder son, we too are much broken from God even though we live in God’s home and profess to be righteous. We are as much broken from God as many others who live without Christ. When we live in a broken world, the brokenness comes into our hearts to become part of our lives, no matter how hard we resist. Hyelim reminds us that we are God’s children, and like the prodigal son, we have to accept that we are in desperate need of God’s grace. To receive God’s love fully, we must ask God to help us face our brokenness.
At Princeton United Methodist Church, we can learn to overcome our brokenness by being part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to Hyelim Yoon’s sermon.
In her sermon on Sunday, Pastor Jenny reminds us that we are broken from creation. “If we stop struggling against nature, we will find wisdom and healing and loving and harmony,” she says. “Only then will we be able to reconnect those broken pieces.” “God is always providing a way for us, she adds, “therefore we must give him and the earth thanks because the things that we touch and eat are from the earth.” At Princeton United Methodist Church, we can learn to overcome our brokenness by being part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon.