Today's reading takes me into the Gospel according to Luke where we read...
"Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
According to an old legend, two monks named Tanzan and Ekido were traveling together down a muddy road one rainy day. Heavy monsoon rains had saturated the area and they were grateful for a few moments of sunshine when the clouds parted on their journey. Before long, they came around a bend and encountered a lovely girl in a silk kimono. She looked forlorn as she stared at the muddy road before her.
At once, Tanzan responded to her plight. "Come here, girl," he said. Then lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the slippery ooze to the other side of the road.
Ekido didn't speak again to Tanzan. Then that night after they reached their intended lodging, Ekido could no longer contain his anger and disappointment. "We monks don't go near women," he said to Tanzan in an accusing tone. "Why did you do that?"
"I left the girl back there, Ekido," replied Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
Ekido thought he has insulated himself from temptation by constructing rigid laws of conduct. Because he was focused on the letter of the law, he succumbed to the temptation to be ruled by anger, resentment, intolerance, and a lack of kindness. Don't be fooled; only God can help you master temptation by writing God's living laws on your heart.
FLEE TEMPTATION --- AND DON'T LEAVE A FORWARDING ADDRESS. --- GOD
+++ This week we begin our summer worship schedule and worship starts at 9:00am! That means our "live-streaming" on the church's Facebook page also starts at 9:00am. And then, of course, we will upload the completed worship service to our YouTube channel. We hope to "see you" in worship this week. Although our Kidz Club program is also in summer recess, we will have a Children's moment in worship for the young folks and offer some crafts, etc. for the kids during worship. We will also be awarding scholarships to our graduation High School seniors this week, as well. Our lectionary reading, from Matthew's Gospel, will hear Jesus calling Matthew the tax collector and then raising a dead girl and healing a sick woman. Boy... that's the definition of a busy day for sure! My message, "Inside or Outside -- God Offers Blessings", will have us looking at the many blessings God offers to us.
+++ TODAY is the deadline for campership scholarship requests. Please make sure this information gets to the church office TODAY so the funds can arrive at camp before the campers do!
+++ Our Finance Team meets on Tuesday, 6/13 at 6:00pm in the Fireside Room and then the Administrative Council gathers at 6:45pm that same evening. Members, please try to be here as we conduct the "business" of the church in these important meetings.
+++ The deadline for the July/August edition of our church newsletter is coming up on 6/20. We need to have all articles into the church office by this date so we can meet our publishing deadlines. Thanks!
+++Helen Forward, Pam and I had an exhausting but uplifting time at Annual Conference last week. We were inspired by our new Bishop and are hopeful for our conference. Our conference has revealed a new logo and will now go by "United Methodists of Upper New York" (notice the emphasis on "United Methodists"). To see and learn more, including full-session videos, visit the Conference website or ask one of us about it.
Make this day a great day and always rely on God to guide you through temptation! Pastor Jack