Mark  Broadus
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Michael Power, Roman Catholic bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto, 1842-1847.

 

Our World Belongs To God 11

We continue on through the Creation theme in the Contemporary Testimony, "Our World Belongs to God", with paragraph 11.  Our song today is “My Offering” by Nicole Nordeman. (Click here for the song lyrics.)

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

8. In the beginning, God—
Father, Word, and Spirit—
called this world into being
out of nothing,
and gave it shape and order.

9. God formed sky, land, and sea;
stars above, moon and sun,
making a world of color, beauty, and variety—
a fitting home for plants and animals, and us—
a place to work and play,
worship and wonder,
love and laugh.
God rested
and gave us rest.
In the beginning
everything was very good.

10. Made in God’s image
to live in loving communion with our Maker,
we are appointed earthkeepers and caretakers
to tend the earth, enjoy it,
and love our neighbors.
God uses our skills
for the unfolding and well-being of his world
so that creation and all who live in it may flourish.

11. Together,
male and female,
single and married,
young and old—
every hue and variety of humanity—
we are called to represent God,
for the Lord God made us all.
Life is God’s gift to us,
and we are called to foster
the well-being of all the living,
protecting from harm
the unborn and the weak,
the poor and the vulnerable.

[See Genesis 1:26-27, Galatians 3:26-28, and Acts 2:5-11. On how we treat the vulnerable among us as a measure of justice, see Isaiah 1:15-17 and James 1:27.]

It is paragraphs like this one which really make the Contemporary Testimony soar, as it calls us beyond ourselves. We are reminded to watch out for not just our selfish interests during this pandemic lockdown, but to others, especially the weak and vulnerable.

Mary Ann recently introduced me to the story of Michael Power, first Roman Catholic bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto, 1842-1847. (The high school on Renforth near Centennial Park is named for him.) During his episcopate, the Irish famine was causing huge numbers of people to immigrate to Canada, only to be swept up by Typhus.  Power ministered personally to the sick and dying, and quickly succumbed to the disease himself. He died at age 42 and is buried in the crypt in St. Michael’s Cathedral.

"Lord, with all of creation we praise you.  Thank you that you made us all, each so very different, in your image.  May we acknowledge that, by serving the least among us in your name. Thank you for the examples of those who have served you sacrificially in this way, and those who do so every day in this pandemic. We pray for their physical safety now, and that your healing love would be make known through them and each one of us."

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 – Online office hours on Thursday are 11-noon and 1-2.  I enjoy a chance to chat, so drop by!

PSS – Also on today’s theme, Hank shared this "lillte ditty," Bill Staines' “A Place in the Choir.” Enjoy!

 

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