Jamey's Newsletter: Sunday, March 19, 2023
It's been hard the past six months to be a pastor. So many interactions have circled around people wanting to be right and win their fight rather than reflecting the grace and love of Jesus.
And if I am honest, it has me weary.
Early in Jesus' ministry, he was invited to dinner in the home of a pharisee named Simon.
The guests have arrived and taken their places. Jesus is reclining at his assigned place at the table as a guest. Then, unnamed and unwelcomed, a woman enters with a jar of alabaster. She is "a woman from the city, a sinner" (Luke 7:37).
Jesus doesn't speak. And as far as we know, neither does the woman. But their actions speak volumes.
She approaches the table—Kneels behind Jesus. Let's down her hair. Her tears rain down on his feet. She caresses them dry with her hair and kisses his feet. She breaks open her alabaster jar and pours the substance over his salty skin.
Simon, the host, is disgusted. He loathes not only the woman but Jesus, who tolerates her. "If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. He would know that she is a sinner," he says to himself (Luke 7:39).
Jesus knew. He speaks in the past tense when he describes her experience. Jesus says, "Her many sins have been forgiven; so she has shown great love" (Luke 7:47). Jesus already knew her story. He had already forgiven her.
She comes to the table as a forgiven person. Yet, it is Simon who still holds her sins against her.
I am not sure where I read it, but I remember reading someone say, "There is going to be a time in your life when a woman like the one in our story comes along and simply says no to those who try to keep her away."
She will say no to those who try to pull her back when she walks in the room, refuse to give her a seat at the table, and judge her instead of loving her.
And she will say no because she has already heard Jesus say yes to her.
She has heard the words of forgiveness, which has empowered her and given her back her identity and self-esteem.
And now she is ready to say, "Thank you!" She is prepared to show her gratitude.
And when it happens, like Simon, Jesus will say to me, "Do you see this woman" (Luke 7:44).
I hope so. I really hope so.
Let's Talk About the Rational Mind and Miracles
(Pre-recorded online worship from Gainesville First UMC, Gainesville, Georgia)
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” - John 20:29.
Miracles are moments of new creation becoming a reality in a world where God’s will in heaven is being done on earth. - my response to miracles (Jamey Prickett)
If you are in (or near) Gainesville, Georgia, and would like to explore this topic more, plan to join us on Wednesday at 6 pm at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. It is a discussion open to everyone.
Meme of the Week
What do you call a leprechaun who scams you? A lepre-con!
What do you call a fake Irish stone? A shamrock!
I Have Been Thinking……………
Relationships take effort.
Relationships are built on connection. We stop relating the moment we stop showing up. If you struggle in a friendship or intimate relationship, examine where you have stopped engaging and connecting.
Love does not grow in passive soil.
Book I am reading this week
See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur
Articles worth reading, videos worth watching, and/or podcasts worth listening to
A Podcast by Simon Sinek: Down A Rabbit Hole with Seth Godin
Our time, energy, and emotions are valuable because they are finite.
Seth is a prolific author and a marketing genius who knows first-hand how love can take an interaction from transactional to transformational.
Top Ten (This is a little brain exercise I do - since I don’t do Wordle). I have a notebook where I make a list of ten things that serve as sort of a brain dump for me. It is random but fun. I plan on sharing it with you in 2023
According to an article, The Giant Panda Protection and Research Center is hiring someone for an annual salary of $32,000 to spend every waking hour hugging and playing with these adorable fur babies. Click here to read the article.
Besides baby Pandas, what other animals would be cool to spend time with?
Horses. Growing up around horses, I have always been fascinated by horses. (More so since I have seen them in therapy situations)
Dolphins. They seem fun.
Alpacas. You have to smile when you see one.
(Disclaimer: I have no interest in cats or snakes - sorry!)
What animal would you like to spend time with and study more?
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Gainesville First United Methodist Church is partnering with the Junior League of Hall County and collecting diapers and pull-ups. You can drop off diapers at the church Sunday - Thursday.
Address: 2780 Thompson Bridge Rd Gainesville, Georgia 30506
Easter at Gainesville First United Methodist Church
Sunday, April 9 / 7, 9, 10, & 11 am
On Friday, He hangs on a cross. On Saturday, He lies dead behind a stone. On Sunday, the tomb is empty, and Jesus is alive. Hope has risen! If God can overcome death, there are endless possibilities for what God can do in and through your life. Be our guest in-person or online Sunday, April 9, as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and discover how God meets us in our fear to give us new life.
7am - Sunrise Worship (in-person, weather permitting, with breakfast afterwards, no childcare available)
9am - Together What If (streaming)
9am - Classic Worship (in-person, childcare available)
10am - Modern Worship (in-person, childcare available)
11am - Classic Worship (in-person & livestreaming, childcare available)
Weekly Blessing and/or Quotes
“Belonging happens when ‘we aren’t us without you.’” - Amy Julia Becker