Having things organized in a neat line, making it easy to follow, easy to remember, etc.–that’s one of The Mom’s favourite things! Those theme parks that are full of circles are not the best, for her, but she’d rather have things go in a chronological sort of order.
That’s why she enjoyed this morning’s service. The whole program was organized to finish off "The Big Story" sermon series with a flourish. Act 1 – Creation: Welcome & Greeting, Opening Prayer, scriptures from Genesis, and the praise song "God of Wonders"; Act 2 – the Fall: appropriate scripture before the Prayer of Confession, Song of Confession (forget which one); Act 3 – Redemption (or the life of Jesus): appropriate scripture and songs of praise; Act 4 – Pentecost and God’s Work Through the Church: offering, special music, doxology, announcements ("Life & Ministry of the Church"), Children’s Ministry, more scripture, the sermon; Act 5 – Christ’s Second Coming: Communion, closing praise song and benediction.
Included in Act 4, was a surprise presentation to all those on our "Pastoral Team" who have been working so hard these last 2 years (and before) while we were searching for a lead pastor. We also had a pot luck for them afterwards–and they were surprised! They’ve been so wonderful and we love them so much!
Now, back to the organizing thing. The ever-excellent, most intelligent and wise Craig was speaking today, with a sermon title of "Mission: Possible". This guy has a heart for mission, so he loves the opportunity to stir the rest of us to do it! His sermon was organized around a meal.
Appetizer: coming to grips with the Resurrection. It cannot be left to one day a year, the disciples were first afraid when Jesus appeared to them, then began to be filled with joy and amazement; we must get over our fear of accepting it as a historical fact and allow joy and amazement, that Jesus still shows up in the most surprising and unexpected ways.
Main Course (richer, takes longer, can lead to indigestion if you eat too fast or too much!): coming to grips with Jesus’ mandate. The fact that Jesus said "it is written" and explained the scriptures to them about how the Messiah must suffer, etc., shows that it was not a last minute idea of His own. He also shows, by the scripture, how this Gospel is to be for ALL the nations. Craig showed us how it was indeed "written"–in Micah 4 for example, where he sees Jesus as "the mountain" where all the people are drawn to, to worship God.
Dessert: being gripped by the Holy Spirit. Here we see Jesus saying to the disciples "stay… until… the Holy Spirit.." But Craig was urgently pointing out to us that the Holy Spirit has already come, at Pentecost, and we don’t have the excuse to wait–we should be going out! The Mission has become Possible, by the power of the Holy Spirit. In true "mission-Craig" style, he gave us facts and figures to show how the nations of the world need the Gospel (not just our own nation). The only thing WE should be waiting for, is God’s leading.
Walk to Rivendell: We’re SO thankful for all those "Striders" who are willing to lead us!