Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on UnSplash
We continue on this week with the"Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God." with the beautiful truth that not only the world belongs to God, but we—you and I—belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to God.
Jesus looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!
Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:34-35).
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
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit
[See the apostle Paul’s discussion of singleness and marriage in 1 Corinthians 7. On the importance of teaching and modeling the ways of the Lord, see Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Proverbs 22:6, and Ephesians 6:1-4. Jesus’ teaching on divorce is found in Matthew 19:1-12 and Mark 10:1-12. That we together reflect the love of God is taught in John 13:34-35 and all of 1 John.]
This week I heard one member of of our church say, "I don't have family in Canada; this church is my family." This was the highlight of my work week, seeing the family of God in action.
This congregation where I am privileged to minister is majority single. I think that is relatively rare for a Canadian church. It is certainly a first for me. And I count it a privilege. At one church at which I was a leader, an unmarried person said, "Being at this church is like eating dinner at the drive up window." Ouch! Hopefully we do better here to meet the needs of our single members!
Jesus was single. He understood the feelings of being a single man in a time when men just weren't supposed to be single, period. He knows it's not always easy being single. Especially during a quarantine.
One of the readers of this blog (name withheld), a widow who lives alone, told me last week that she got her first hug since the COVID quarantine started. While I rejoinced with her that she had a hug, I got really sad, because no one should have to go four months without a hug. Unfortunately, I know many people for whom this has been the case during COVID. And we know that this is the norm for very, very many people in our majority-single-city.
You may not know this song from the 90's, Martin Smith's "What A Friend I've Found," but let me encourage you to raise your hands, let down your walls and worship along with it.
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.