St. Paul’s Tag-and-Bake Sale!

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Looking for things to make your household complete?
Decor, furniture, small appliances, gardening tools?
Stuff for your kids like toys, games, books?
Clothing? Jewelry?
Maybe some plants for your garden?
Need a snack right now or to take home?
Park your car once and shop for all that you want/need!

With your purchase, you will support foreign missions AND yourself by making your buck go further! This event is in the church cafe from 9AM-3PM on May 17th.


Call Pam Riddell for pick up or questions at 860-742-0254 or text her at 860-268-8746. She’ll be ecstatic to hear from you!

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Tension: Uncertainty and Faith.

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His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21

Something I probably spend way too much time doing is worrying about what the future holds for my life: what is my job going to be? What if I’m wasting my time? Where am I supposed to go? What is it I’m supposed to do?

What if I make the wrong decision, and there’s nothing I can do about it? 

I’ve been told I need to chill out, just enjoy things, stop thinking too hard about life and stressing out about what’s going to happen. But here’s the thing that some of you might have noticed in your own lives: Just because someone tells you to stop doing something, doesn’t magically make it easier to stop doing it. 

So maybe it’s time to take a couple steps back, get at what the real issue is here: Am I quantifying life in a way that makes sense? Where am I going wrong here? 

In this parable, Jesus talks about a lord who gave his servants a number of talents. They each make different decisions about what to do with these talents: a few of them invested it and got returns, and then there was one who buried it because he was afraid of the lord (who was a hard man). The servants who did the right thing, who got a return on their talents, were called “faithful.” 

So here’s where I go wrong (and probably where a lot of us go wrong):

1.) We think we earned our lives: If we’re going to take this parable to it’s full meaning, our lives are like talents. We get them, own them for a little while, and then have to account for what we did with them later. 

2.) It’s not about results: Even though the servants increased their number of talents, they’re praised for their amount of faithfulness.

3.) It’s about perspective: Each servant perceives their talents as being worth it (or not so much worth it); the person with the least amount of talents has the least amount to lose… and yet takes the least amount of risk. The servant with the most amount to lose is the one who is the most faithful. 

I recently read an interview that emphasized this fact: it’s not that the message is “well done, good and successful servant.” It’s about faithfulness. And what is faithfulness, exactly? I’m not necessarily an expert on word meaning and stuff, but faithfulness has less to do with results and more to do with a mindset: things are uncertain, the stakes may be high, there’s some risk, but it’s about sticking with it. The servants’ amount of faithfulness is represented in the amount of talents they get as a result; so the most faithful servant got the most talents, and the least faithful got nothing out of it.

Let’s cut to the chase: we’ve all been given these lives, and we’ve got a lot to lose. (Eeep). However: as was said on Easter Sunday, the biggest risk we can take, the worst thing we can do, is hoard, do nothing, be faithless. 

And that’s scary. 

Maybe less scary (and more like good news): We’ve been given so much. It’s easy to get tunnel vision and not see how great this life is and how we were made to invest it (rather than bury it). If we use our talents to do God’s work, to love others, to speak truth and light into people’s lives, and trust that God will bless this, we’ve done our job. We’ve been faithful. 

So the real question we need to ask ourselves is: How am I living my life faithfully? Am I faithful to God in the daily putting one foot in front of the other? Am I taking the “risks” he asks of me? 

Am I the good and faithful servant?

 


Join us for Good Friday

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Join us this coming Friday (April 18th) at 6 pm for our Good Friday services.

In the chapel, we will have a quiet, reflective service that gives us time to respond to the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross through scripture readings and stations for meditation.

In the kid’s room, Vince will lead a Good Friday service for children (ages 4-9) that walks them through the Easter story–starting with the Last Supper, commemorating Good Friday, and ending with the hope of Easter (and of course some Easter egg decorating!).

Please join us for these special services!


Innocent Fearlessness

A Post from Doug Whittemore

When Adam and Eve in the Garden took of the forbidden fruit, why did they become so foolish? Was it only because Satan was so cunning in his deceit?

When Job speaks to his peers about their hypocrisy, he talks about how man searches for the rich minerals of the earth but none of it is so valuable as wisdom and understanding, neither of which can be dug from the earth. He tells them that wisdom is the fear of God and understanding the avoidance of evil (Job 27 &28).

When love is expressed at its fullest, it casts out fear and it makes itself vulnerable. When God walked with man in the Garden, fully revealing His love, did He not inevitably make Himself vulnerable to misunderstanding by this finite creation of His? Was not man, if careless enough in his undisciplined innocence, at risk to lose his fear of this God who was so awesome but so tender and loving at the same time?

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Perhaps, fear of God is best seen in this light. How often does the modern believer focus on God’s love and forget to fear? We deceive ourselves into thinking that we can be so comfortable with God, even though we have lost our innocence—knowing full well our sin and our ancestor’s betrayals, yet we sometimes act as though we need never think of it. Our sin is removed as far as the east is from the west, but that is only by God’s grace; it is not for us to lose sight of, lest we fail even to remember how precious God’s grace is and how much sacrifice it caused Him.

Fear of punishment for the believer’s sin is banished by His mercy, but until we come home and God wipes the tears from our eyes, let us remember to always hold onto, by discipline, that anchor of fear of our Lord.