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Our World Belongs to God 44


We continue on this week with the"Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God." 


Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22: Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ (May 25-29)
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit (June 1-2, 5)

Paragraphs 31-33: Revelation (June 8-10)
Paragraphs 34-40: God's New People
(June 11-19)

Paragraphs 41-54 The Mission of God's People (June 23-)

Paragraph 44 (Today)
Life is a gift from God’s hand,
who created all things.
Receiving this gift thankfully,
with reverence for the Creator,
we protest and resist
all that harms, abuses, or diminishes the gift of life,
whether by abortion, pollution, gluttony,
addiction, or foolish risks.
Because it is a sacred trust,
we treat all life with awe and respect,
especially when it is most vulnerable—
whether growing in the womb,
touched by disability or disease,
or drawing a last breath.
When forced to make decisions
at life’s raw edges,
we seek wisdom in community,
guided by God’s Word and Spirit.

[On respect for all life, see Deuteronomy 5:17 and Psalm 104:14-30 and 139:14-16. Our very bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.]


As a relative newcomer to this denomination, let me say the Christian Reformed Church has a pretty admirable track record at honouring life as a gift from God's hand. Thus this beautiful and important Paragraph 44 may be familiar territory for most of us. So let me point us today in a new direction on this theme.

Lately we are being challenged to hear the sad truth that some lives are more expendible than others.  One man is killed for suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill; one woman plunges to her death after calling the police to help her.  To help us understand the senslessness of all of this, and to help us know a bit about the people that died, Casey Palmer recently posted this graphic to keep us from forgetting. (This graphic is US only; there are so many Canadian stories to be remembered, as well.) 

We can be inspired by the famous song from Les Miz, "Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men? It is is the music of a people who will not be slaves again."  But can we be equally inspired by the sound of protest from our own streets? Can we be true to the Testimony's words, "we protest and resist all that harms, abuses, or diminishes the gift of life?"  This is what the current worldwide street protests are about. Dare we turn a deaf ear to them?

Today's song is 12-year-old Keedron Bryant origninal composition, "I Just Want to Live." 

Please also take the time to read this Banner editorial by Shiao Chong.  It is an open, honest, personal portrayal of the situation. 

Pray with me as our Lord taught us to pray,

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

1 Comment

June Evans about 4 years ago

I love these Elbow Bumps which are always thought-provoking. You're a wonderful blessing to me Mark and I prayerfully look forward to your sermon on Sunday.

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