By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor
One of my fondest memories in Jerusalem was participating in Seder meals during Passover. Seder is a ritualized meal, based on Exodus 12, eaten on the Eve of Passover. A meal is eaten while participants read dramatized liturgy mixed with songs, games, and questions. I bring up Seder because it is a ritualized worship that transforms a meal into a wonderful learning opportunity to remind, relive and internalize Biblical truths and values. Seder is a truest form of worship where God’s Word comes alive through eating, sharing, loving, singing and reminding: demonstrating acts of faith through praxis!
The Bible is full of unusual praxis was commanded to heighten the message of God. The sacrifices carried out on the altar of Jerusalem Temple graphically illustrated the gravity of sin and its consequences. The prophet Isaiah was commanded to walk around naked to demonstrate the humiliation Judah would face in relying on Egypt as their protector. Jeremiah bought land as a sign of future hope from God during the Jerusalem siege where the Kingdom of Judah was about to lose its sovereignty to Babylon. There are so many of these stories in the Bible. In our Christian tradition, we have Communion where we eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus to become God’s presence and compassion to our neighbors, friends, and enemies. Praxis is vital in developing character, growing as disciples, and nurturing depth of soul.
Therefore, this summer the youth group is offering a variety of opportunities to live out, to experience, and to remind the love of God to others. First is an outreach to Honduras in late June (TBD) where we will partner with The Learning Center to minister to young ladies in helping them become leaders. Second is the Appalachian Service Project (July 14-21). A group of volunteers from Trinity, Arlington Temple, Delta and St. James United Methodist Churches will go to eastern Tennessee to help with repair projects. The cost will be $250 for adults and $150 for youth (open to rising 9th graders and up). Third is Langley Residential Support Services tutoring, helping clients who have learning disabilities. Volunteers (rising 7th graders and up) will join tutoring programs held at Immanuel Presbyterian on Tuesdays in July (July 10, 17 , 24, & 31) from 6:45-8:15 p.m. Last, but not least, Caroline Speidel is managing a collection project for Comfort Cases, which will be for foster children. Supplies needed are: small duffel bags/backpacks, pajamas (child size 10-adult XXL), small blankets (preferably fuzzy ), stuffed animals, journals, pens, pencils, books, adult toothbrushes, and travel-size toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, body wash, deodorant). The goal is to pack five bags so we need five of each item. There is a collection box in Room 403 (located in the Fellowship Building). I’m looking forward to a wonderful summer filled with opportunities for godly praxis!