Mark  Broadus
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Our World Belongs to God 7

Our song today is “This is my Father’s World.” I've selected a version by Fountainview Academy. Perhaps you have a favourite version you’d like to share with others. I encourage you to do so, below. (Interesting note: according to Kenneth Osbeck, the songwriter, Rev. Maltbie Babcock, took frequent walks along the Niagara Escarpment to enjoy the scenery, telling his wife Katherine he was "going out to see the Father's world.")  

The heavens are telling the glory of God;                He has rescued us from the power of darkness and
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.      transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,
Day to day pours forth speech,                                in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    and night to night declares knowledge.              He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of 
There is no speech, nor are there words;                all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on
    their voice is not heard;                                        earth were created, things visible and invisible, 
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,        whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—
    and their words to the end of the world             all things have been created through him and for him.
  
(Ps. 19:1-4).                                                            He hmself is before all things, and in him all things
                                                                          hold together. (
Col. 1:13-17).

The Preamble now complete, the Contemporary Testimony now turns our attention to creation:

7. Our world belongs to God— 
not to us or earthly powers, 
not to demons, fate, or chance. 
The earth is the Lord’s.

[For God’s ownership of all things, see Psalm 24:1 (quoted in 1 Cor. 10:26), Job 41:11, and Deuteronomy 10:14.]

We begin today with the profound reminder that, because God created the earth and the heavens, they are his. We do not believe we got here by blind chance. We believe that God designed the universe by his power, wisdom and love.    We believe this universe is purposeful.

We also believe that, although a darkness was allowed to shadow the earth, because the earth is the Lord’s, he has delivered us from that darkness. (Is 60:2; Col. 1:13).

In a time of global pandemic, this should give us great comfort.  We do not fear the tyranny of earthly powers, demons, fate, or chance. Rather, we call out to the one in whom all things hold together.

This is my father's world Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is king, let the heavens ring God reigns, let the earth be glad!

“Dear Lord, on behalf of your world, we cry out in a time of need.  On behalf of so many vulnerable people, we seek your help. We appeal to your royal, benevolent reign for a world in need of your care.”

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

Go with this blessing:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Pastor Mark

PS – My online office hours today will be 11am-noon, 1:00-1:30, and tomorrow 1-2pm.  If you want to connect or just say hi, come by at your convenience! Remember also that we have online prayer, 11:00-noon, using the same Zoom link. 

PSS – To dig deeper into this topic, perhaps you want to join me at 4pm today in listening to a talk by a Christian biochemist on “DNA's Inspiring Design.” Click that link for more information. (Note: times on the reasons.org website are in Pacific Daylight Time.)

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