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"Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are" (I Corinthians 1:26-28).
Our World Belongs to God 34
Today we begin a new section of "Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony" with Paragraph 34, reminding us of the reason that God works so patiently to build a community of people on this earth.
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)
Paragraph 34 (Today)
In our world, where many journey alone,
nameless in the bustling crowd, Satan and his evil forces
seek whom they may scatter and isolate;
but God, by his gracious choosing in Christ,
gathers a new community—
those who by God’s gift put their trust in Christ.
In the new community all are welcome:
the homeless come home, the broken find healing,
the sinner makes a new start, the despised are esteemed,
the least are honored, and the last are first.
Here the Spirit guides and grace abounds.
[For the new community, see 1 Peter 2:4-7; for the attacks of Satan, 1 Peter 5:8-11; for the gracious welcome, Matthew 11:28-30 and 1 Peter 5:5-7.]
"In the new community all are welcome." I am convinced that the church is the best place to build a diverse community which truly represents and loves all, especially those whom the world has deemed least. In Jesus' upside-down kingdom, the last will be first, not just metaphorically but in reality. And this is what we are all about at Fellowship, reaching out to our community so that our church comes to represent the diversity of the city around us. Will you continue to regularly pray that this will be so?
In such a time, it may seem like Satan has the upper hand in scattering and isolating us. The gospel of Jesus tells us a different story: God's up to something good. And God is always ready to use his people in his work. Who can you reach out to with the technology you have in your home? Who can you invite to worship with you, remotely? Who can you reach out to, whether near or far away?
Our song today is the high-energy "Glorious Day" suggested by Joanne H. Time to dance!
Jo-ann shared this news from one of the churches in the neighbourhood. Rev. Maya Douglas has been named the incoming minister of St. James United Church at 400 Burnhamthorpe Rd. We look forward to welcoming her to the neighbourhood and ministerial.
"Lord, thank you that in your community we all find a home: homeless, broken, sinners, despised, least and last. May your Spirit guide us and may your grace abound as we take your gospel into a world which you are turning upside down."
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.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
PS - The pastor's office will be open Friday from 1 - 2 pm.