(Sorry, I could not bring myself to show this entire picture. But you know who it is.
Read and listen below and you will see why I have shown it here.)
Our World Belongs to God 33
We continue on with Paragraph 33 of "Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony" and the story of God's redeeming work which continues through to today.
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)
Paragraph 33 (Today)
The Bible tells the story of God's mighty acts
in the unfolding of covenant history.
As one revelation in two testaments
the Bible reveals God’s will
and the sweep of God’s redeeming work.
Illumined and equipped by the Spirit,
disciples of Jesus hear and do the Word,
witnessing to the good news
that our world belongs to God,
who loves it deeply.
[For God’s mighty acts, see Acts 2 and 7; for our instruction, see Matthew 16:13-19, 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, and James 1:19-27.]
It is not possible to assert that "our world belongs to God who loves it deeply" without equally asserting that God loves all the people of this world equally. The "sweep of God's redeeming work" encompasses the peoples of this earth. Covenant history is the story of God choosing a people to take his salvation to the people around them.
Burnadette replied to my earlier question this week, of what Scriptures speak to prophetically to us about fighting racial injustice, and refers us to the story of Ruth. The story of Ruth and Boaz is a micro-story of the Bible's story, God's redeeming love for the world—our kinsman-redeemer offering safety to all of us foreigners.
I commend to you John T's Pentecost day sermon. (When you listen to it, you will understand the meaning of today's photo.) For a useful Black theological persepective on the question John asks in his sermon, I recommend Anthony Carter's book, Black and Reformed: A New Perspective on the African-American Christian Experience.
Our song for today is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," sung by Nely's son Ben and friends.
"Lord, thank you for the Bible. Thank you for saving us by your word of truth. Help us to hold it out for what it is, the revealing of your will and the sweep of your redeeming work."
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.
Our benediction again today is our song, "Benediction" by Stuart Townend.
PS - The pastor's office will be open Thursday from 11am - noon and 1 - 2 pm.