Sunday, July 6, 2014

Significant Moments

The summer sun is shining. During the wee morning hours thunderstorms rolled over the region, but the clouds appear to be dissipating, at least for the moment as we gather on the Fourth of July weekend.

"I've been thinking about special moments, unique moments like the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This is a unique time in the life of our church with the first evidence of what's to come being the bell tower awaiting in a pole barn at Chuck Vanderscheuren's home.

Need people to sign up for the coffee time.

Chuck opened the worship with a passage from Romans. "You are not under the law, but under grace." Darlene, Ken and Chuck then sang a medley about grace, marvelous grace.

A time of worship was followed by a time of prayer.

Significant Moments

On July 4 at 8:30 in the evening as my kids have never been out in the boat as it was getting dark. We were fishing and I threw a yellow Hula Popper into the water. Suddenly a huge owl flies out of the woods directly toward us. Instead of flying up over us it flew down to the water, grabbing that Hula Popper. The line whizzed as the bird flew back toward the woods... Fortunately, he dropped it rather than getting hooked.

Think back about a moment that changed you. A first day of school or moving away to college or a chance encounter that led to marriage. Our lives are shaped by significant moments, and the choices we make. Sometimes these moments sneak up on us. Sometimes it is a tragedy that strikes and changes your life forever.

One thing to remember: God is always in the moments.

What is God doing in this moment? What is God up to? How do we respond?

Brad led us to Mark 1:14 "After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God."

John the Baptist was a somebody at the time. John was the man, the "best hope" for Israel. And when he was put in prison, a dark moment for God's chosen people, this is when Jesus stepped in. In verse 15, Mark writes “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

There are two kinds of time. Chronos... chronological, passing, moment by moment, measured on a clock. But in this section Mark uses the other word when he writes, "The time has come." Kairos, not chronos. The Greek word means "opportune time" or "fitting season." It speaks of a moment of redemptive interruption. A significant moment. A new possibility.

Some of you in your lives may feel stuck, in a situation or a pattern. But guess what, you are not stuck. God is in the moment, therefore it is a moment filled with possibility.

The question is, how do we respond?

The way to respond is to repent and believe. Something needs to change and Jesus has to be trusted.

The challenges aren't external. They are internal. The question is not "What is my strategy to get out?" Rather, it is "What kind of person do I want to be?"

At the end of the day the only thing we can really control is what kind of people we want to be in Jesus. The key moments are not about our competence, but about our character.

In addition to "Repent and believe," He said, "The kingdom of God has come near." The kingdom up there has come down here to earth.

Our calling is to connect, grow and become. That's the mission we hold in common.

Will God continue to be faithful as we stick to the mission? Absolutely.

Is there any obstacle to keep us from connecting to that mission? Not if we continue to trust in Jesus.

New Life Covenant Church is approaching sixty years. But though many things have changed, some things continue to remain the same. God is calling us to trust Him, to love people, to live generously, to take bold risks for the kingdom, and then to imagine 60 years from now your grandkids' grandkids gathered together celebrating (probably in some way by then that none of us will like.)

The one thing that matters is that Jesus is Lord, and that He has forgiven our sins, conquered death and one day is coming back. Until then, we have nothing to fear. God is in this moment, and all the moments of our lives.

At this we celebrated the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
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Here's status of the building across the street as of July 6. Stay tuned!

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