In Ecclesiastes 7, we learn that wisdom is a good thing that is so powerful and universal that it affects everyone in the world. However, we are also reminded wisdom doesn’t involve living in the nostalgia of the past but rather looking ahead and planning for the future while living in the present.
In Luke 14 (15-24), Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a banquet. Banquets require invitation, preparation and attendance. Today, we are reminded that Christ has prepared a great banquet for us. Are you coming? Are you prepared?
In our world of advanced technology, it’s often difficult to determine what is real and what is not. The Bible talks about the importance of speaking the truth to our neighbors. In this vein, we are encouraged to seek the truth and reminded that the greatest truth that matters is what Christ did on the cross.
God wants our whole heart, mind, and soul. Not just lip service. praising him needs to be a deliberate act of gratitude not forgetting His faithfulness in our lives. To that end, we need to take time to contemplate and give thanks to God.
Though we often try to ‘earn’ our salvation by our actions, God doesn’t really ‘need’ anything from us. Thus, our worth to God doesn’t not come from what we can do for him but rather from just being who we were created to be. He created us to be his partner not his slave and He sent Jesus to demonstrate how to bring God’s kingdom into the world and be the perfect partner for God.
Just as shadows are not a reality of what they are reflecting, sacrifice (in the old testament) was a reminder of sin and not the actuality of forgiveness. Christ’s once (and for all) sacrifice was the real road to forgiveness and communion is our reminder of Christ’s bodily death and bodily resurrection. As Christ’s sacrifice required a bodily presence among us, so too our physical presence is required when joining together in order to build lasting relationships.
Moving on can be fearful and uncertain but it can also be useful for growth. However, we allow ourselves to get so beaten down that we wonder if we should even go on and, in the process, we resist trusting God. We need to push aside this fear and not be shackled by what we were. Instead, we need to learn to forgive ourselves and press on to be who God made us to be.
Father’s Day reminds us of our heavenly father and his perfect template of fatherhood. Good, who is father to all, adopted us as we are and makes and treats us as equal to Christ. Today’s sermon reminds us that the greatest responsibility for men is to be a father and using God’s template to break generational cycles that keep us from comforting and encouraging our children.
Can you imagine a world with no “no”s? Today, Guy Hammond reminds us that freedom is not the ability to do what you want but the ability to choose NOT to do what you want. We are then encouraged to remember that Christianity isn’t about how bad sin is, but about how good Jesus is and that is the message we should be sharing.
Today’s meeting of the Canadian churches reminds us of how the pandemic forced us to rethink what “church” meant. We are encouraged to remember that God has a way of bringing us where he wants us, regardless of what our plans might be. As long as we are together, unified, and focused on God, we can stay strong and be secure in our place in the world.