Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lord of the Harvest

Wonderful weekend weather made it possible for a lot of us to work in our gardens, garages and other general projects around the house yesterday. With the sun shining into our sanctuary it appears another similar afternoon awaits us. Pastor Brad welcomed us enthusiastically, as is his custom. Our God is a God who meets needs, and it's a privilege to be in His presence today.

Brad began with some thoughts about driving: "What is it that drives your life?"

Chuck shared an update on the new church building as there's been some great progress. Anyone who wishes to come up and do some cleanup on the exterior these next two weeks would be most welcome while the electricians and other professionals address internal projects.

The music team will be at Edgewood Vista at 3:00 this Tuesday. If you wish to join us to help turn pages in hymnals or help be part of it, you're invited.

The Trio led our worship this morning, leading off with "Till the Storm Passes By" followed by several songs from the new songbook.

There were many prayer needs plus a story by Mick about a young man who was killed while texting and driving, and died with his cell phone in his hand.

The Trio sang "Until Then" as the offering was taken.

Lord of the Harvest

Last week was Easter, and we talked about the fact that it was the greatest act in all the world. The Resurrection was the greatest event in history.... and should be the driving force in our lives.

For many people it's money, ambition or fear that drives us; it could be ego, security or something else... and that something else is what I want to look at.

Same question applies to our church. What drives our church? Budgets? Spiritual consumerism... or something else.

Pastor Brad then read Matt 9:35-39. When Jesus saw the crowds He had compassion on them. Not judgment, no superiority.... All kinds of people came to Him, blind, lame, untouchable, broken... "harassed"... They were like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus went everywhere telling people the good news. "You can have a fresh start every morning. You can have a hope." But the scale of human need was so great that it broke His heart.

Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "Do you see it?"

He wanted them to understand that we are not here for us. People are alone, people are afraid. But we could see a harvest. A harvest of righteousness in which marriages are being restored, character restored, broken lives restored.

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers few. Too often we spend more time worrying about food going bad in our refrigerators than we do about the great needs in our community and world. Jesus needs workers, not consultants.

In John 9 Jesus said, "As long as it is day we must do the work the Father has given us."

Jesus was on a mission, and He invited the disciples to follow through and be a part of it. (Matthew 10:1)

Brad told the story of a ship that was designed to be a troop carrier that ended up being a luxury cruise ship, never used for what it was intended. This is a danger in the church, missing the mark as to what we were designed for.

Today, if Jesus went out into our community what would he see? And He would ask, "Friends, do you see what I see?"

Brooke was called forward to share about our youth group going to the Twin Cities for Friday and Saturday event call M.O.V.E. (Mission Outreach Venture Experience.) This was a rich experience for the dozen who went and participated in both group worship and outreach with 20 other churches.

"There's nothing like the church when it shows up. It's not extravagant, it's just being there with a heart of compassion," Brad said.

We're not called to judge it. We're called to serve it, nor scold it. Jesus is the one who saves. Love them, for in so many ways we are side by side with hurting people, in the marketplace and in the streets and wherever we find ourselves.

There are way too many sheep without a shepherd.

Today, the fastest growing religious group according to polls is "no religious affiliation." It used to be 7% and today it is 20%.

We have a mission. There is a harvest out there waiting to be found.

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