“…..And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”
One of the most iconic pieces of literature ever written is a series of ancient poems attributed to Homer, called The Odyssey. For those who aren’t familiar with this story, The Odyssey is a fictional story about the hero Odysseus’s long journey back home after the Trojan war.
At a specific part of this tale, Odysseus and his crew encounter a group of monsters called the Sirens. And what makes these sirens so dangerous is that they sing a song that bewitches and lures sailors to jump off the safety of their ship into the dangerous ocean, where they then drown.
Being a wise captain, Odysseus knows that he and his man lack the willpower to resist the siren’s enchanting music. And so, he decides to tie himself to the mast of the ship, and he has all the sailors put beeswax into their ears so that they won’t hear the siren’s song. And it’s by taking these creative measures that Odysseus and his crew escape the temptation of the siren’s song.
So, what does this strange story have to do with, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil?”
You see, like Odysseus and his sailors, we have our own sirens that tempt us away from the path of following Jesus. Sirens like hatred, xenophobia, materialism, hedonism, apathy, and despair. And the reality is that, like Odysseus and his men, our own willpower isn’t always enough to overcome the things around us and the desires within us that tempt us away from God’s will.
But what Jesus wants us to know is that we don’t have to face temptation alone!
Instead, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” is His way of calling us to look to God to provide the grace and strength we need to resist temptation’s lure. To put it differently, this part of the Lord’s Prayer is Jesus’ way of inviting us to look to God to provide the earwax that we need to drown out the siren songs in our lives and to move forward in our journey of following Jesus.
Resuming Music Ministries
The Choir and Bell Choir will resume rehearsals on September 9th. Rehearsals will be on Thursdays in the choir room, with Bell Choir at 4:30-5:30 and Choir at 5:45-7:00. Feeling unsure about joining? Feel free to sit in on a rehearsal any time before deciding. All are welcome – no experience required!
We are aiming to have our fall church picnic. Our Ministry with Members team will have more details about this event next week.
Sunday School Starting Back Up
Our church is restarting our in-person Sunday School program on September 12th. If you would like to register your child in our Sunday School program, please fill out a registration form and turn it in before that date. If you need a form, you can email Gretchen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19: Update on Church Policy
Due to the surge of Delta variant COVID-19 cases, and the new CDC, State, and Denominational recommendations, our Leadership Council has updated our church’s health and safety policies. . Of particular importance to note is that our church now requires that all persons wear face masks regardless of vaccination status. You can find a hard copy of these policies on the table at the back of the sanctuary.
We are looking for one volunteer to buy food and another volunteer to deliver food for the week of August 29th to September 5th. Should you purchase the food, you will be given the names and needs of the individual/or family a week in advance. If you are interested in being part of this important outreach ministry, please connect with Walter Maze or John Newton.
Sharing Prayer Requests
If you have a prayer request, you can fill out a prayer card in the back of the sanctuary or email our Office Manager, Gretchen, at email@example.com. We will be sure to add it to the list on the back of our bulletin. You can also email Gretchen to take off any prayer requests that are no longer relevant or needed.
You will find every newsletter, worship service, devotional, and additional material posted to our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/FlemingtonUnitedMethodist/
Even if you don’t use Facebook, you can access everything we have there. If you do have a Facebook account, “like” to follow our page and be notified when new things are posted or when videos are about to go live so you don’t miss anything.