Sunday, May 1, 2016

A New Creation

"Good morning! It's great to be here." Pastor Brad welcomed us warmly, and shared his excitement for the various matters slated to take place today. Brad also reminded us that we who have chosen to follow Christ are ambassadors who represent Christ to the world.

Next week is Mother's Day. Men who can come next Saturday at 7:00 a.m. to prepare food for Sunday's Mother's Day breakfast, which will begin at 9:00 a.m.

Darlene ushered us into worship with a gentle and melodious medley. After a pair of songs from the blue songbook we took a moment for mission that involves a water project that the Covenant church is involved with. Ruth Anne's daughter Shannon shared about a project she is involved in.

Shannon shared that she has been working with a microbiology firm for many years. Here in America we take our water for granted. In many parts of the world there is limited water, and many places people have to walk to carry water back to their home many miles away. Even when water is accessible it is often unsafe. A Barefoot Mile Foundation has become involved in supplying water purifiers to help bring clean water to villages there. Shannon shared what an eye-opening experience this was to see the challenges other people have to deal with. The work she was involved with was in Malawi, a country in South Africa the size of Pennsylvania.

A New Creation

Today's message revolved around II Corinthians 5:17-20.

If you are a Christian, there is nothing regular about you. You are filled with the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. You have access to the throne of God. This is not regular.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. And all new creations have new purposes.

Some of us are new creations but don't know who we are. It would be like a butterfly that crawls on the ground because he doesn't know he was designed to fly.

Paul writes in this passage that you have been entrusted with the message of reconciliations. And in verse 20, he adds that we are Christ's ambassadors, as if God were making His appeal through you and me.

As Christians we need to know who we are. We're ambassadors. An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat sent from one country to another. The same is true about us if we're followers of Christ. Heaven is our home, but we are in earth as His representatives.

Brad had two thoughts he wanted to share before today's communion.

1. Ambassadors are not elected. They are chosen.
Jesus said, "You didn't choose Me. I chose you." Jesus chose us and believes in us. Jesus said, "I appointed you to go and bear fruit."

The man who wrote the letter to the Corinthians was once a murderer of Christians. But God chose him and made him a new creation, a chosen instrument to bring the Good News to the Gentiles.

You are God's chosen instrument in your situation and circumstances, in this community. When you believe this it will change your life.

2. Ambassadors do not represent themselves. They represent the government who appointed them.

You are called to represent Christ and His agenda, not your own agenda. You represent Christ in everything you say and do. You carry Christ with you everywhere you go, and His authority.

You are appointed by God to carry His message of reconciliation. You can say with Paul, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me."

You are not just a stay-at-home mom or student. You are a new creation, and an ambassador of Christ.

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We then celebrated the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

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