God’s Strategic Plan

We are planners. We try and imagine what our lives might be like in one, three, or five years, and then we plan. Based on where we want to be, we set goals and objectives that act as a roadmap, guiding and providing us with the best route for us to take from today and into the future.  Our planning is based on Chronos time. While planning and setting goals are important activities, our scripture reading reminds us that God’s strategic plan is not dependent on us, on our goodness, achievements, or timeframe (Chronos).  God’s plan of salvation is the work and gift of God. The goal in God’s strategic plan is to gather up all things.  The timeframe is not based on Chronos time but Kairos time.  In God’s time—Kairos time—God will gather up all things. In the meantime, we live in praise and thanksgiving to God.

About the Ephesians Sermon Series

Today Pastor Rod is beginning a sermon series on Ephesians.  Ephesians was written as a letter to Christians living in the Roman Empire in the first century.  The letter is divided into two distinct sections.  In section one (chapters 1-3), the writer retells the gospel story—how our infinitely gracious God has blessed Jews and Gentiles alike in every conceivable way. God has chosen them, made them sons and daughters, and let them in on God’s secret plan.  God’s plan is that through Christ, God is gathering up all things, especially all people, into a divine unity (1:10; 4:6).  Then in section two (chapters 4-6), the author writes about how the gospel impacts and affects every aspect of our life in our neighbourhoods, our communities, and in our families.

As I researched the book of Ephesians, I came across a website called the Bible Project.  The BibleProject is a non-profit ed-tech organization and animation studio that produces materials for anyone who is interested.  They put together an introduction to Ephesians that I found helpful.  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y71r-T98E2Q

Ephesians has been one of my favourite books in the Bible for many years. I think the vision of the “church” sketched in Ephesians grand and awe-inspiring.  It is not for the faint-hearted! It leaves no stone unturned. Its agenda amazes me. Its audacity inspires. Its relevance challenges. Its message is as penetrating today as it was in the 1st century.

Andrew Dyck, a professor of practical theology at CMU, has memorized the book of Ephesians!  If you want to listen to it, type this link into your computer browser at home - https://youtu.be/pGkiu0tCEys 

I certainly cannot claim to have memorized this letter, but I hope to memorize and internalize some of the verses that leap out at me.  I encourage you to read through the letter several times and let its words and images soak into your heart and mind.  And feel free to use different translations to enhance your understanding.  

Over the next couple of months, we will reflect on how our infinitely gracious God planned to create a multi-ethnic community of followers to weave the covenant family God promised to Abraham. They live in unity as one body in their families, neighbourhoods, and churches because of God's grace.  It is through the Church that God plans to reclaim the whole world.

Where do you look?

In today's sermon, our guest speaker, Terry S, Moderator for Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, asked the question, where we turn for help?  Where do we turn for help, be it our daily lives with associated decision-making, when faced with the bigger issues in our lives, our in relationships where profound power differences are often at play?  Our faith calls us to look to God because that is where we find support that is unwavering. But, do we have the faith to look to God?

Baptism: Dying and Rising with Christ

Today, we welcomed three people into FMC's fellowship, two via membership transfer and one via baptism.  Paul describes baptism as dying and rising with Christ.  In baptism we put off the old, the old allegiances, the old attitudes, the old ways of life, the old hatreds, the old life, and put on the new, the ways of the Spirit, like compassion, kindness, humility, mercy, and patience (Colossians 3:12). Oh, and we also celebrated communion!

To access today’s worship video please click the following link: https://youtu.be/GBSUyEV8mDE