On my way to the church, today, I was behind a car with a license plate that read, "UBSWEET." I took it as a reminder that I should "drive nice," and in that regard, I thought it was a pretty clever personalized plate. I read one time that research showed that most people driving their cars feel like they are in personal space, even though there are windows on all four sides! I imagine that to mean that we feel sometimes like we are in "tiny houses" when we are in our cars, and that we do things we wouldn't do if we were standing in line at the grocery store or walking outdoors in a public place. Sometimes, it's just embarrassing little things (usually having to do with grooming), but other times, it's behavior we exhibit while driving that we wouldn't think of exhibiting if we were outside our cars in a public place; name-calling, "gestures," or driving rudely or aggressively. That's when we might benefit from having a license plate in front of us that reads, "UBSWEET."
The fact is that we are witnesses in our cars, and in every other public space in which we find ourselves. How do you treat the person who bags your groceries? How do you speak to your waiter or waitress at a restaurant? How do you deal with any person who is moving too slowly, taking too long, causing you inconvenience? It's true that these people (and others around them) may never know to make a connection between your behavior and your claim to be a Christian, or your membership in a church. It's true that no impressionable child or teen who knows who you are may see you exhibiting bad behavior. But it's also true that they might (I once observed a deacon from my home church shoplifting in the department store where I worked!). Either way, whether you're observed by someone who "matters" to you, or not, your words and actions are powerful, and can bring goodness or illness into our public life. Your words and actions can either ruin someone's day, or they can lift someone's life. So, "UBSWEET!"
See you Sunday.
A few reminders from your pastor:
THIS Sunday, May 13th - The sermon text will be Luke 24:36-53. The sermon title is, "Touch Me and See." I know the buzz for this Sunday is Mother's Day, and that's great! But it's also the Sunday following "Ascension of the Lord" (May 10th), a day observed by Christians all over the world to recognize and celebrate the ascension of Jesus into heaven following his death and resurrection. In the story from Luke, Jesus invites his startled disciples, who wonder if he's a ghost who's appeared among them, to, "Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." Sunday's sermon text ends with Jesus' being carried up into heaven, to be with God (where he advocates for us even now, at the right hand of the Father!).
NEXT Sunday, May 20th
IT'S PENTECOST SUNDAY - You are invited to come to worship wearing "the colors of flame" (red, orange, yellow), in remembrance of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2).
MR. DAVID FROST will be your guest preacher and worship leader, as I'll be away for (another!) son's wedding in Raleigh, NC, that day. David has been with you before, and I hope you'll make him feel welcomed, again.
FIESTA LUNCH & TALENT SHOW - Plan to stay after worship to enjoy a "Fiesta Lunch" to help our youth raise money for their summer mission trip. Stay to enjoy some "local talent" from Hebron Presbyterian Church.
REMEMBER to check the bulletin insert each Sunday to see the items being collected for Operation Christmas Child "shoe boxes" for this coming holiday season. Then pick up a few items as you're doing your regular shopping, and bring them to the collection box in the hallway outside Holman Hall. Many thanks!
Sunday, June 10th - Plans are underway for outdoor worship at Dover Lake! Be sure and get this on your calendar, and look forward to enjoying a casual worship service and a fun day together at the lake.
Vacation Bible School - It will be here before we know it! You may register a child(ren) by going to our church website, www.hebronpresbyterian.com, and clicking on "VBS 2018."
Looking ahead - October 21st will be "Heritage Sunday" at HPC, as we celebrate 175 years of ministry in this community. Make note of this on your calendar, and watch for more details as the date gets closer!