We have some great things happening at First Wayne Street! I’d like to invite you to join us for “Gather”, our Wednesday evening ministry for all ages. We offer dinner from 5-6pm. Following the meal, we have great opportunities for children and youth – and a time of worship, prayer and Bible study for our adults!
We are currently exploring the book of Ephesians together. This letter from Paul highlights the call of Christians to be serious about the ministry of reconciliation – about building bridges – about repairing damaged and broken relationships – about being peacemakers – about going out of our way to show our love for God and our love for people. Paul calls for a church known for its love and unity. The type of unity Paul speaks of is our unity in Christ.
We are united in our mission and ministry to show our love for God in the way we love one another. Scripture encourages us not to be distracted by those things that attempt to divide us – and be united in Christ. There are so many things that attempt to divide us these days, masks, vaccines, politics, school pride, sports team allegiances…God longs to see us to put down those divisions and focus on the One who can unite us. The enemy rejoices every time he is able to distract us…and celebrates that even small things can derail our mission. If we Christians could get serious about loving God and loving people, we just might witness a radical transformation and great revival in our church, community and world.
This Sunday, we are going to launch a worship series called, “We’re on a Mission from God.” If you’ve seen the classic film “The Blues Brothers”, that phrase should be familiar. October is the month of our stewardship focus – and we are going to talk about stewardship through the lens of our mission as followers of Jesus. This Sunday, our message will come from Ephesians 2 and will focus on the ministry of reconciliation. If we are going to be serious about fulfilling God’s mission for First Wayne Street, we have to be serious about reconciliation. I’ll also share one of my favorite scenes from “The Blues Brothers.” I haven’t decided if it will be an actual clip or if I will do a re-enactment of the scene!
As we begin to consider the theme of stewardship, I want to remind us of one of my favorite passages from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus speaks some powerful words that can be summed up in a three word statement, “Do not worry.” Let’s see what Jesus has to say, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
As we talk about our mission from God, we need to trust God to provide. If we are faithfully following God’s call for our church and our lives, we just might be surprised in the ways God provides in ways that can only be explained through divine intervention and provision. When we are tempted to worry, we should consider the lilies. When we are tempted to worry, we should consider the birds of the air.
Jesus proclaims that God knows what we need. Jesus tells us that God is aware. As we strive first for the Kingdom of God, God will be faithful to provide what we need to do what God is calling us to do!
What can one do when others do not seek reconciliation?
Marcia, that is the big question! As with most big questions, there is not an easy or clear answer. A mentor once told me that we are not accountable for another’s actions/reactions. If we are faithful to do the work of reconciliation on our side and it is rejected (or the other party is apathetic), we may just have to move on in the confidence that we tried. Of course, that is much easier said than done.
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