27 Jan January 27th
Is it really the end of January already?
It must be & here we are. It’s been an exciting start to the year!
Olivia was baptized last week and 8 (yes 8!) young people will affirm their baptisms through the Rite of Confirmation on February 20th. This is the good stuff we all love to see.
We’ve got our new Steering Team at the helm & that’s always great when we can give folks who have laboured in the Lord’s vineyard under trying circumstances a bit of a break & allow new leadership to step forward. Keep praying for these folks…it’s never easy to be responsive to God’s call to His church, and 2022 doesn’t look to be giving us any smooth water to sail in just yet.
But with that thought in mind…Last Sunday we noted during the Faith Chat that at the moment, our world seems to be on a razor’s edge.
Armies massed at the Ukraine border.
China trying to host an Olympics while the SARS-CoV-2 variants are still raging in their country & their human rights abuses are (or should be) a major concern for the world.
Various countries facing massive rejections of any further restrictions of freedom or invasive personal mandates.
A stumbling struggling alliance of Western Democracies trying to find a common voice for the common good.
I always find it interesting when my daily Bible reading speaks to a conversation I’ve just had. I’ve been reading Matthew this month. I was at the hard part, chapters 23-25, where Jesus erupts in ferocious anger at the religious leaders & grieves over the faithlessness of God’s people. Then he shares an apocalyptic prophetic word about the time of his return & how God expects us to live our lives now knowing that he will hold us accountable for our failure to live out his grace in the present circumstances of our lives.
As I was reading, I felt like I was reliving the conversation from Sunday about the “razor’s edge” sense we all have with respect to our current world climate. That all changed for the better for me when I read Mt 24:31: And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
It seems such a simple sentence, and it might get lost in all the other warnings & prophecies of judgement…but there it is…No threat – No distress – No crisis – No distance ultimately separates God’s children from their Heavenly Father. We are His and his hand is never far from gathering us to Himself. That word never falters, fades or fails. That right there is powerful in every day, every circumstance, every life.
We’re maybe more familiar with Romans 8:38-39: I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But Jesus puts that promise & that assurance into the context of a world on a razor’s edge…when it looks like things could break loose or break apart at any moment. That one put a song in my heart on an otherwise pretty difficult day.
I also ran across a CS Lewis quote…I’m going to use this in a sermon soon…but you can have it here too: “Enemy occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful King has landed, you might say in disguise, & is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”
The confidence of God’s hand always on us & his call to “sabotage” the world with acts of grace…what a mission for 2022! I’m glad you’re in this with me.
Be blessed this week and we’ll see you Sunday!
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